Sunday, November 25, 2012

What we take for granted...

Who is getting over Thanksgiving weekend blues??

Ah, Thanksgiving! For some, it may be a cliche of a holiday; a cry for help before committing pre-meditated consumerism suicide, AKA, Black Friday, or Thursday, or Saturday. I loose track... I am certainly happy to report that I only spent $7 on Friday on cool new shades with a touch of bling bling. Thank you cousin Vivianne! :) My darling, sweet, 12 year old baby cousin Caroline joined in because she wanted to experience Black Friday.

I will be the first to admit that our shopping excursion was short lived because Caroline was called in to be with her mom and sister. In the car we decided to meet up later that evening and I suggested decorating ornaments for the soon to be purchased tree.. Her eyes lit up! In a nutshell, cousins, young and not so young, joined together, over pizza (and wine for the adults-duh!) painting and drawing on cardboard ornaments. Glitter pens, stickers, music playing, tree trimming and all that jazz, made for a really fun, low-key Friday evening at home. I call that Fun Friday!

The feelings and emotions of anticipation for my Thanksgiving holiday in Texas evaporated as I arrived at DIA Wednesday after a very stressful couple of days at work. Man, was this break needed. I am sure many of you are nodding as you read this. Right? Of course, right? Work detox: a must!
In addition to certainly looking forward to regrouping with the Dallas kin, I was sad at the reality that Luis would be spending the holiday with his father. That's ok, it's reality. Last year we were in St. Louis, were friends made us family and we had a lovely time.

In Dallas I got to hang out with a singer, a former cheerleader turned scientist and a flyer. My beautiful second, or third, or whatever times removed cousins. What the hell does "twice removed" even means anyway. I like it en espanol better... primo hermano, segundo, tercero, etc. We barely had time to spend talking about school drama, new school drama, that is, how college is going, or when the next national cheer leading competition is, when it was time to say adios... What little or small amount of time together, we made up in quality, simply being together. This weekend was a great example of quality versus quantity. These girls are lovely and I am blessed they are part of my life.

In Thursday we joined another set of cousins, second, third, whatever, you get the picture. What was incredibly familiar with it all, (mind you, I have not met half of these people before) is the fact that it was familiar. I had heard some of the stories, visited years before for even shorter amounts of time, but it was familiar... Dare I say, it was family? :) Why yes, it was!

I have written about this before. Regardless of heartaches, trials and tribulations, I find the smile, halfway drawn in my face, holding back yet wanting to shine, remembering my pledge to be a better family member. Yes, I smile.Yes, I own it. I also sucked at it- only short-lived though, remember? I wanted to be "Ms. super woman, I don't need anything or anyone, to get what I want, when I want". However, really, when I looked inside and owned the fact that I was not being honest with myself, realized somethings had to change, and part of that was family. Being on your own, far away, does indeed suck at times. ---Second time the word sucks (I guess that's the third) appears-- Disclaimer: find me a better word that describes the sentiments and I will be happy to use it, but for now, it stays. :)

Growing up in a small island where you know there are relatives living in different places, scattered all over the USA was kind of cool. We had "relativos" in New Jersey, New York, California, Texas, Florida, just to name a few. My dad made it part of our education and appreciation of all things "family" that we not only got to meet these relatives, but that we get to know them, travel with them, build even stronger ties that to this day, stand the test of time.

May this be my thanksgiving prayer, blessing, wish upon a star. That I am thankful for those times we "had" to visit with the godparents who smothered us and slapped sloppy kisses on our cheeks when we were 9. For the forced Sunday visits with those, yes, those so-called cousins (we had way too many to keep track of, but we knew the ones we didn't really like) and experienced organized fun- yuk! For the awkward times we took for granted having to call grandma just to say thank you and the many times we had to keep the great-great-great aunt company while she went to the doctor.

For all that we take for granted, the many hugs in the morning so many of you experience, but I don't. For the daily dinners at the table and the sobremesa that I so long to experience again. For the movie dates w pops and the recap and slicing and dicing of cinematographic mastery. For the evenings at home looking through old photo albums- digital pictures do NOT do them justice- smelling that distinctive smell of old Polaroid instant pics and retelling stories that made us laugh and cry, but laugh even more. For the opportunity to get a second chance at being a better daughter, mother, cousin and niece and granddaughter and friend... For the smiles, hugs, hellos, goodmornings, see you tomorrows, I love yous. For everything we take for granted, but fill our lives with the very essence that is the daily life we live, I give thanks.

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