It was a trip where life was celebrated. My father passed away in March 2014 and on what would have been his 85th birthday just a few weeks later a great grandchild was born! She shares his blue eyes and wavy blonde hair as well his birthday. My family, my husband and I, all of my grown children and grandchildren do not live in the town that I grew up in, the town my father lived in. We had planned a big trip over Fathers Day that same year hoping they would get to see him one last time, knowing we might be celebrating his life without him; and so it was.
All of my family, my youngest sister’s family, my oldest sister and her husband and my stepmom, got together on Fathers Day. And we laughed! Cousins who had lived so far apart that they had never known each other, told stories, and jokes, shared YouTube videos, and they laughed.
My baby sister Julie and her husband Keith are probably the two people that are the closest to perfect on earth. They were the perfect hosts the entire night. I don’t know how they do it! Their home was filled with smiles and memories and everyone held that precious new life! We have pictures to prove it! We sat around tables and on couches and talked. Kids told us of their plans for their futures. Parents bragged on the great accomplishments that their progeny had already completed. And we bragged about the good people these kids had become, perhaps in spite of us. And we laughed!
We laughed about everyday things, and things we remembered from days gone by. We laughed about how great it was to see kids get to know each other. We laughed about her enormous dog and its baby blanket. The irony that such a big dog could have such a sensitive heart. Unless of course, you threaten my pocket sized sister, and then that enormous dog finds every pound of its size in courage. Later we could worry if what connected us was that great man, or the love he taught us to have for each other. On this night we loved, and we laughed and we remained connected.
My family spent two weeks back home catching up with best friends, and old friends. We spent time with family. And everyone, everyone held that precious little baby! I have the pictures! We even took family portraits and our poor photographer could not get my family to behave. We had a wonderful time! Our trip was filled to the brim with laughter!
The following year or so would have its grief. We would feel the loss of this great man. But this one brief moment, we celebrated, his life, and new life. And we laughed!
by Vicki L Pugliese
Cover media by: CheriAnn Photography