Thursday, March 02, 2006
Just this past Sunday we had a family gathering... it was truly a hoot! We all packed into my oldest sister's house. Of my immediate family there was only her and her family of five, my little brother Freakboy, his wife and their two redheads. Daguy and I brought our total household of five and the rest were some of my cousins and their broods. An Aunt and a couple of Uncles rounded out the whole affair and is there such a thing as a step cousin? 'Cause if so, we had two of those. Total I think there was around eighteen kiddos aged ten or younger plus a handful of teenagers in attendance. I know this is so much minutiae, it just struck me that I grew up like this. Not so much the second cousin factor, but the feeling of loud and loving family and the tons of kids. The enchilada's, the pot of beans and a whole lot of popcorn. My Granny called us all "turd-munkles," and though it may sound odd it's name I bear with pride. Collectively we were and are "Grand-brats."
Right now I miss my Granny and Pa so bad... please stay with me just a minute while I swallow past this rock in my heart. I have never begrudged them their passing until now. My Granny had cancer and was more than ready to go, and Pa followed her nine months later. I think he was ninety seven? They both left this world in the bed they shared in their own damn house. They passed with dignity.
My Mom had three sisters and one brother, and while my Uncle Sam has never married, his sisters have more than made up for it with their kid totals ending up at 6,6,5 and 11. I'm not kidding, she popped out eleven kids...wheeew! I have many memories of family "do's" with packs of snot nosed cousins roaming and tumbling and beating on each other. It was good and I want that kind of love and security, that sense of family and belonging for the Chaos Girls. I think they get a good solid dose on both sides...
I make a point of filling all prescriptions at the downtown pharmacy here, it was owned and run by Dadguy's Grandpa. Now it's owned by Dadguy's Uncle Mike and while I'm pretty sure we get a family discount on the scripts, that's not why I go. I go because the place has a lunch counter/soda fountain that hearkens back to the day when Dadguy's dad and his buddies would stop by after dropping off their dates and make themselves a burger and malted. They could do this because he had a set of keys to the place and his dad trusted him to clean up the grill after. This was back in the day before it would occur to a Dad that there might be a problem with giving some teenage boys access to a drugstore unsupervised, and there never was a problem. This is the same lunch counter that Dadguy grew up at. These are the stools that I get an inordinately peaceful feeling seeing my own girls perched upon, licking a soft-serv cone while we wait for our prescriptions to be filled.
Family. I've got a rock in my heart today, or is it in my throat? I'm not trying to be mysterious, I just have been at it for this whole naptime and half a box of Kleenex and can't type out what has eaten my lunch in a publishable way. It's just so much raw and painful crap, all tied up in the not-so-mysterious or unusual self destruction of a cousin, a nephew, a brother or a friend. Drugs, alcohol...I have had my fill of them and their destruction. I have a rock in my heart and today the keyboard can't seem to dislodge it.