The Zoey Blog: Family and Friends, but Mostly Friends FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Family and Friends, but Mostly Friends

For some odd, unknown reason I'm left fairly speechless about my Uncle Dwayne turning 50 years old, and about the birthday party that fell together for him last night...about the family that were there, the people that I love, and it's strange that somehow I can find no words. I can always find the words. I got to spend the night with people that matter a great deal to me, maybe perhaps, beyond measure, and that is why I stumble to find the proper perspective to wrap around the few photographs I have of the night.

Five or six hours were filled with long, laughter girded conversations with cousin's and Uncles and Aunts (wait, why does it seem like I have to capitalize Uncle and Aunt but not the word cousin? That's even stranger than my loss of language). Zed played with Sammer, and Avery and Reece. I steadied myself with Scott and Colleen, and Brad and Jason and Mark, and I might have wandered outside of a ten foot circle five times in all of those hours. People found me, because they were looking for me, and you're a fool if you can't feel the value of that right there in in your chest, or hold it in your hand. My family is very likely no different from any other family but I think that in many ways it is. There is a genuine love and affection between people who so often in other families find no reason to find faith in each other. So often, cousins are related almost because their parents are, and for no other reason. That doesn't demand any kind of connection or ignite any kind of love unless it's forced. Ours is never forced. I love these people and they love me, and I care about what they're doing, and they care about what I'm doing, and that might be more unique than even we realize. I'm not connected to these people because our parents are brothers and sisters. I very likely would have found them as friends regardless.

It used to be that we thought that my Grandmother, the matriarch of this large and close family, was the one who tied everything together but I think all these years after she has been gone that we were wrong. Everything is tied together by love, and not a single person is responsible for that, each and every single one of us is, and that's something we just hadn't considered. Still, somewhere Grammafufu would be proud...beaming, in her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren laughed and played and even bumped bellies, because there are no divine rules that say that we should, that urge us to find faith in each other, and that congregate us simply because in photos we kind of look the same. We find each other so engulfed in smiles and laughter and we snap photos and touch each other on the elbows and thump one another's backs and steal hugs and stories because we love each other, and even if any of us ever achieved anything great in our lives...if Grammafufu ever did, it might be that all of this trumps it. I dunno. I don't have the words, but looking back three paragraphs, I guess I did.

Happy Birthday Uncle Lumpy. You've marinated for fifty years in a pretty authentic kind of love. That's worth celebrating every year, not just every fifty.


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