One minute you're just a kid, lamenting a long, drawn-out family Christmas party---
Why is it so hot in here?? How come the adults are having fun? Why did my mom make me wear this velvet pinafore---the other cousins don't have to! Ugh, HOW many family pictures do we have to line up for??
---and the next you realize that YOU are the adult, alcohol makes the party go round, you can wear whatever you want, and those family pictures were worth every sweaty minute because you've gotten to know your family. And guess what---you like them!
|The generation that started it all!|
At some point, deep down, you know that your generation will need to carry on and continue the traditions, but it's a hard reality to face as the torch passes hands. You want to believe nothing will change, and that all the people who have been there for the important things in your life will continue to be...
|My grandmother (Mom-mom), me, and Aunt Shorty at my bridal shower.|
(I mean, LOOK at these fabulous women! Something to strive for.)
The other night, my Aunt Shorty (my grandmother's sister-in-law), passed away in her bed, after a long, lovely life. Her children and grandchildren, and the rest of my family, celebrated her memory today back home on the Eastern Shore.
|Another great pic from a few years ago!|
I will always think of her in cashmere and pearls, the life of the party.
|Aunt Shorty, with her son Craig and DIL, Nancie at my cousin's wedding.|
Every year Aunt Shorty held a big soiree at her house the day after Christmas. We would all crowd into her maze of a house---ham and biscuits, spinach dip on the buffet; the fireplace would be roaring even when it was 90 degrees; the crowded "bar" on the porch (not sure if that was the most popular space because of the cool air or hard stuff), and family. Lots and lots of family.
I'll admit, it took me a few years to get comfortable in my own skin, to remember everyone's name (did I mention my mom's family was BIG?), and to realize that my cousins were people I wanted to grow old with.
I have to thank Aunt Shorty, because without those parties, I never would have known what an amazing family I have. For this, I owe her everything.
This is her legacy: