It is sometimes breath-taking when I sit and look at a picture like this and realize that it is something that I am also a part of. That young lady that is sitting in the front in the chair is the one that brought this all together and she has opened her home for Vince and I to stay during our vacation instead of us having to get a hotel. (This also gives me an opportunity to hear all the horror stories of what they did as children)..
When I say that this young lady brought it together.. (Her name is Christine).. I have to tell you that she is an inspiration to many of us. She has cancer, she has a port, she has Crohn's, has had 26 surgeries for numerous things, has couple of other things that she was diagnosed with.. and was told that she would only live 3 to 5 years.. (She is in her 3 year).. let me tell you this guys from what I have learned about this woman as the years have passed.. that doesn't keep her down.. and Christine does NOT let it DEFINE who she IS or what she can and can not do. (Christine and Vincent my husband are 1st cousins)..
Now for the reason of why I said it was breath-taking.. and let me tell you this.. I don't have a family that is truly close to one another.. nor is my family a big one.. I grew up in a very dysfunctional family and an extremely abusive father. Therefore, family means a lot to me.. and the family that I do have with my husband, my children and my grandchildren.. we are very close and we message, facetime, snapchat, etc.. on a daily basis.. and by the end of the night saying we love you.. and have a good night no matter where they are or what they may be doing.
This family on my husband's side.. from Florida of my Mother-in-Law, my Sister-in-Law Elly that treats me like a sister never wanting anything in return and has had long talks with me, my Brother-In-Law and his wife.. going swimming, out to eat.. to Tennessee of Vince's Aunt and Uncles.. to here in New Hampshire.. has treated me like I was someone... And what do I mean..
You know? We watch tv and we see what the families are like there.. and then I have wondered from time to time why my family couldn't be like that.. My father was so abusive and I was called a liar by most and harassed beyond what your mind could even imagine... and then I was a black sheep on my mother's side.. wasn't meaning that they didn't love or care about me. I just was a black sheep.. harder to be accepted and feel accepted and still is with a majority of them.. and still am a black sheep.. However, the longing isn't as strong as it used to be.. I grew up, got married, had my own children.. and family. Whether they chose as adults to be part of my life was up and is up to them.. but I wouldn't ever force myself on anyone.
However, so that brings me to my husband's family... no matter where they are or what they are doing.. no matter what is going on in their lives or what is happening in ours.. no matter if there are disagreements with one another or as like many like to call drama.. everything is put aside.. and everyone comes together.. and everyone has open unconditional love for each other.. and they open their arms up and without hesitation as if I have always been there.. have made sure that I knew that I am a part of their family.. and guys that is something unless you have come from a background of an abusive childhood or the black sheep of the family.. that I could NEVER explain to you in words what that means to me.. and how much each and everyone of these guys mean to me.. and I can only hope that as my family grows.. we will continue to stay close and that their children.. will also remain close and as the family continues to grow.. begin to make memories like these that will last a lifetime.
So, today I want to thank everyone with all that I am.. thank you for letting me be part of such a wonderful family.. to say thank you for loving my crazy self unconditionally and to let me know that.. and to accept me for who I am.. and all that I am.. (flaws and all).. thank you for always opening your hearts to me with wide open arms.. not because I am married into the family.. but, because you genuinely do love and care about me as a human being... Thank you for letting me really know what it feels like to be part of an amazing family... and for believing in me and pushing me to be the best that I can be all the time.. encouraging me when I feel like I can't do something... for pushing me to better.. but above everything else.. thank you for showing me constantly what unconditional love is towards me.. and towards one another..
I love you guys so very much and I am so honored that I am part of your huge family... all up and down the East coast! I am blessed that this week I am able to spend this time with you and look forward to what each day will have this week and will cherish the memories that Vince and I will make with you guys.. and what is even crazier.. is I get to hear more and more stories about Vince growing up with you guys.. like Christine and Vince sharing that they did prank calling decades and decades ago!
What an amazing day at the family gathering and can't wait as this year passes onto the next as we all work together to make a family reunion happen!
*My ramblings.. my thoughts.. my opinions.. just as it comes in my head.. and to my fingers... If anyone is offended remember that this is my online journal.. just as I am.. because "I Am Human."*