Monday, November 29, 2010

Connected cousins

The holiday was great. Thanksgiving dinner was at my moms'  We were a relatively small number (14)  for dinner this year. If everybody is there, which rarely happens, we are about 40. Exactly 1/2 of the 20 grandchildren were present at my mom's for some of the day on Thanksgiving. Here she is posing with nine of them. (Note my son Tim in the back with the beard. You wouldn't know he's 6'1" tall in this crowd)

 It was just the "girls"  this year.  That's me and my four sisters and our families. My sister Ellen and her  family had to go to her inlaws for dinner but they were there for the appetizers.  Joan's entire family was there, but Kate, Mary and I were missing a kid (or two, in Kate's case) who could not make it home for the Holiday. My two brothers did not come. My younger brother and his wife went to Lake Tahoe. Their daughter is away at school and finals are next week so she didn't come home. Happily, though, she is in school in Los Angeles, where my older brother lives. She went  to her uncle's  house because he was staying in LA with his wife.

The picture above shows only 9 of the 10 grandchildren who were there. Mary arrived after Ellen and her family left so Patrick was missing from the picture. There are a couple of reasons for this. Mary and her family come from the farthest distance, about 2.5 hours away. More importantly, her son Patrick operates best on a shorter time frame. Holidays with all - or even half - the cousins can be extremely overwhelming for anybody, but especially for Patrick. Patrick is 25 and autistic. He lives in a group home and comes home to see his parents every other weekend and on Holidays. 

Patrick sat next to me at dinner. He kept saying hello to Maggie in his very quiet voice and she would laugh uproariously every time she heard it.  These two cousins have a special bond; or maybe all of us have just decided they have a bond because they are both profoundly disabled, albeit in completely different ways. I think it's the former, though. There is a kinship there. 

I was happy to get this picture of the two of them together, both smiling and actually looking at one of the cameras.(There were several. Patrick and Maggie had to deal with the paparazzi.) Usually there are too many people floating here and there, or one of the two of them is absent from the party because of illness or schedule. Not this time.  

We have a lot to be thankful for.. 


  1. Great pictures -- and how wonderful to be blessed with such a huge family! No wonder you enjoyed my recent posting of the Ass Family Tree.

  2. I sure enjoyed reading this - always enjoy reading about your family gatherings! Barbara


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