I try to avoid doing a lot of blogging on the weekends as this is supposed to be my time to gather my thoughts from the previous week and get organized for the next week. But the combination of Father's Day and yesterday's family party has my mind churning.
First, it's Father's Day and I want to send out a big thanks for all the fathers, step-fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, and mothers-acting-as-fathers in this world. You're doing wonderful, necessary things and you're greatly appreciated. I have been blessed with two fantastic parents and I would not be the interesting person that I am today without them.
This thought has me circling around to a bigger thought: family. The majority of my family lives in the Cincinnati area where I have grown up, which has filled my holidays with cousins, aunts, and uncles laughing. However, I do have several aunts, uncles, and cousins who live a distance away and I don't see them often. This weekend, an aunt and two cousins along with their kids came into town and I was able to talk with them at a party. These are cousins that I have probably only seen a half dozen times in my entire life, so it's understandable that we're not particularly close.
But seeing them for the first time, hugging them for the first time in more years than I want to count, there was a surprising stirring in my heart. These people are my family. We are bound by blood and it's amazing the fierce protectiveness and possessiveness that can stir. I look at these people, seeing no resemblance to myself, and yet I know we have the same grandfather and grandmother. My father is their uncle. We reside in the same family tree just a couple branches away. There's a sense of relief to see them happy and laughing with other family members that I hadn't expected.
And then to see their kids! Are we really so old that I now have second cousins who are entering their teens? I guess we are. The momentary shock at seeing them quickly gave way to a need to hug them all. The Drake family keeps spreading and growing, and I am proud to be a part of such a wonderful group of people.
Pushing past all my mushy rambling, I guess the point of this is that time in this world is painfully fleeting. Hold those dear to you close, let those you love know they are cherished every day, and laugh often. To my cousins from far away, you have beautiful children and I am so very happy for you. I hadn't realized it until last night, but you are missed. To my aunt, you have amazing children and grandchildren. To all my long-distance family, please come home.