I hope y’all had the Merriest of Merries. My inexcusable absence has been due to the fact that I haven’t felt particularly thankful, happy, funny, or anything that anybody else would want to read about. But as I was driving out to The Ranch the other day, it occurred to me that it was up to me to look for the Thankful. To look for the ways to get out of myself. To look for the ways to serve. So here we are. I have drawn enormous strength in the last few weeks from two of my favorite groups of people. And I couldn’t figure out which one should get the honor of the first of the two-parter blog post, so you get a combined SUPER POST. I’m thankful for Wedding Cake and for Cheesecake.
Wedding Cake-Allow me to set a scene for you. It’s October, and a STUNNING weekend here in The Great Republic. A large group of people are gathered on the patio of a restaurant here. Cubans, Chinese, Hong Kong, Irish, German, a Trinidadian, do we have a Brit in our crowd yet?, O-Dubai? Right? I truly forget all of the many, MANY nationalities. There is a microphone and a speaker set up. And for some of us, erm, a few of us, (FINE, one or two of us) in that crowd, that’s DANGEROUS. And like a moth to a flame, my Uncle David picks it up first. He’s funnier than me, so it’s a good thing. He also designs better buildings than I do, but that’s a different post. Uncle David addresses our crowd, assembled to celebrate the impending nuptials of my cousin/his son Baby Dr. M to his beloved, also Dr. M. (I haven’t known her since she could fit into a laundry basket, so I don’t get to call her Baby Dr. M.) We are very much an American family. Wherever you stand on the immigration “issue”, we are an American family because we all come from different spots. And we are here, and we are free, and we love each other. We are also GIGANTOR. Uncle David hits on all of these points much more eloquently (he wasn’t writing a blog post while being just about as stressed out as he has ever been in his life…plus, I think he had a glass of wine…) and then he continued with something so simple, and so true. He said that the reason that we were all there was because of The Cousins. That we were the glue (I think he said glue…I was snuggling the latest addition to The Cousins, Sir William, and frankly I was so smitten with Sir William’s perfectly edible toes that he could have danced the can-can and told stories about my early love life and I wouldn’t have even noticed.) that connected generations and branches of our immense family. And that the bride-al Dr. M’s family was now going to be a part of The Cousins, too. AND IT’S TRUE! I’m not yet married, so technically my “other” cousins haven’t become officially part of The Cousins, but a sweet cousin of mine who is still trapped in The Land of Winter (let’s all pray for her release and rescue, please…) has introduced herself to The Cousins, and has been welcomed with OPEN ARMS. We’re all kinda scattered (but headsup, peeps, I have a FANTASTIC AND WONDERFUL idea for Cousin Trip ’13, stay tuned for details…) and lately, we see each other mostly at weddings (which? fantastic!) but we pick up where we left off. The Wedding Cake helps. In the last few weeks, my cousins have closed ranks around me and I have never felt so loved. I felt like a Kennedy or something! (Only, you know, on the proper side of the political spectrum.) I love you all so much. Thank you.
God gives us families for a reason, people. Those bonds? POWERFUL STUFF.
(Some of us. We now need a panoramic lens.)
(An oldie of the Maternal Clan. The Bouviers to the above Kennedys.)
Cheesecake-When I was in college, I was privileged to play rugby with the Nashville Women’s Rugby Football Club. Sometimes known as “The Stone Lions”. Cheesecake was sort of our unofficial food. Like “The Golden Girls”. Only no housecoats and slippers. These women are strong, strong women. They have courage in the face of things I’ve never faced. Hemingway once said that, “Courage is grace under pressure”. These are some of the most graceful women I know, people. I mean it. Most of us have now hung up our boots, I still have the boa and the knee socks and my jacket, but we keep in touch. I was never much good (I know-you’re shocked that I was not the most athletically gifted…), but I am grateful to these women for allowing me to play, sweat, tackle, cry, laugh, get injured, and shed my blood with them. I heard our song yesterday, ladies, and for the first time in a long time, I sang. Thank you, and I love you all dearly. Thank you for teaching me so many, many things, and helping me to be strong. I will never be half as strong as y’all, though.
(I disavow ALL KNOWLEDGE of the circumstances of this photo.)