I had been considering not explaining all of the craziness going on these days. Somehow it just didn't seem fair or sensitive enough to several of the others more effected by it than I am. But having seen them all this weekend, I've learned that most wouldn't mind my personal acknowledgement of our family's situation.
Last Friday my uncle Dan passed away. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer for two months. He was a great man and will be horribly missed. My favorite part about him was his ability to make great off-the-cuff, off-color jokes. In a family of otherwise bookish people, his humor was always very welcome. His family was all able to be with him on Friday when he succumbed to the disease, and were able to say goodbye. Not many people get the chance to be surrounded by those they love most in their last moments. And I am so grateful that my uncle was able to be.
The weekend was spent with family activities. While my uncle's passing was sad, we were all greatful that his suffering had come to an end. The gatherings of the weekend were tearful and yet full of love and happiness. Any time our family gets together there is fun and conversation. And several hundred people. I know the size of my family is approaching legend and lore status. I shall now try and quell some of that.
To the best of my knowledge I have- on my paternal side only-
34 first cousins
over 400 second cousins
and countless third cousins
And yes, the bulk of them live in Virginia.
So when it starts to sound like I have a zillion relatives, guess what? I really do.
And I haven't finished seeing my relatives this week. With every dose of sorrow there must be some happiness as well, right? My cousin Jonathan is getting married on Wednesday (which I now realize is today). We had a really nice dinner earlier tonight (tuesday) to get to know his bride Sarah's family. I'm looking forward to the rest of the festivities this week.
As a sidenote, I also went out to buy J and S's wedding present today. Wonderful people that they are, they registered. I took one look at their registry and knew what I was going to buy for them. The stainless steel toilet plunger. Why? Because they registered for it. And on the card, I just had to write, "I insist that you think about me every time you use it."
J and S have their own photography business. So needless to say, the pictures from the wedding this week will be incredible. J did say I could take some ghetto pics on my camera if he gets to be on the blog. Be prepared for lots of fun ghetto pics this week, as the blog will be serving as my photo album!
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