Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Hours

Well, it's time to go home for a spell and check out the house, family, and friends. Has anything changed since I left? Have the flowers and weeds grown? Is the dog clipped and fed? Are the neighbors and friends around? Is anyone available for happy hour? I am leaving tomorrow for special reasons. It is time to celebrate some major milestones with family and friends.

As Buddy hangs out in the Midwest, I am heading for a big party. When I say "big", I mean huge, enormous, gigantic, mind blowing, and celebratory. It is a party that has been in the works for 10 months, 9 years and 56+ years. What do I mean by this? Well here goes....

Ten months ago, our dear brother in law and friend Big M was diagnosed with lung cancer. As a non smoker, this was a huge surprise and blow to Big M and all of us. He has been in our lives since we can remember. He is a former football player who is accustomed to competition as he owns his business, but this was the biggest foe in his life as he faced an enemy that would hit him harder than any lineman. As expected, Big M put on his gear and faced the challenge. After chemo (twice) and radiation, he had surgery to remove part of his lung. As fate would have it, he needed chemo post op to kill the remaining cells. He has faced this challenge with courage and perseverance. I am in awe of his bravery and ability to fight when the rest of us would have packed it in, sat on the porch with a bottle of Jack Daniels and a one pound bag of peanut M&Ms. Not Big M....he is throwing the party tomorrow as an "I beat cancer" celebration. I won't miss this one for anything.....'cause he is 'da MAN!

The nine years celebration is for my niece, Lil A. She is the youngest member of the family and has been such a joy to us all. Lil A is an athlete, food connoisseur, artist, and actress. She can sing, dance, and ride a skateboard. She runs with her dad and is pretty good at Wii. She is funny and intelligent and we are blessed to have her in our lives...By the way, they never miss Sushi Friday....what kid do you know enjoys eating raw fish on a weekly basis? Not mine, Buddy still does not add milk to his cereal....not adventurous at all.

Lastly, the 56+ years of celebration marks Grandmom and The Saint's anniversary. They have been together for years and years and years. I have never seen a couple more devoted to one another as I have witnessed over the years (and years and years). They are together 24/7 and attend mass together daily, food shop, attend parties and events, and finish each others sentences. When seated next to each other, they hold hands....yep...PDA....they know where each other are at all times as they have built-in radar. I measure all marriages against this couple and none compare.

And so, there is so much to celebrate in our lives as we face the unknown on a daily basis. Giving thanks and celebrating the little and big things help us to get through a life that is filled with the unexpected. I don't know what happens next, since I am not clairvoyant nor intelligent, but I do know that when the there is an opportunity to be with the people that you love and share happiness, joy, and sorrow with them, we have been given an chance to offer part of ourselves in an intimate fashion and show unity and support. Tomorrow's celebration marks a number of important milestones that I have witnessed and absorbed. I am honored to be part of this as I raise my glass and honor the people who mean so much to me. Cheers!

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