so I'll start at the beginning. This goes way back...20 years back... I think I'm 12 in this picture? It's Christmas with my cousins Shaun and Chris, and my two brothers Stefan and David.
I used to have a whole other family. I was quite lucky because even though I had four families (a common by-product of divorced and remarried parents) and half of them lived on the other side of the country- the other half (Mom's family and Stepmom's family) were in Alberta. And I had close relationships with both groups. Me and my brothers were older than all of the other cousins (read: bossy) but we still had a lot of fun and a lot of good times together.
Unfortunately when my Dad died me and my brothers pulled away from one part of the family. There is no easy response as to why and certainly not one I would get into on a blog- but suffice to say it was a decision with heavy consequences that I would come to regret many times over the next 15 years.
But we're now in 2008 and things have begun again. I spent Christmas Eve with my Stepmom and the family for the first time in 15 years. And it was awesome. Here's a picture of me & Stefan with Paula and Florence. (yes I've changed a little) (I posted a pic of the boys Chris & Shaun in an earlier post to see how they've changed).
Christmas Day was spent in the usual fashion of opening gifts in the morning and eating the best breakfast ever (Canadian bacon on English muffins). In the evening we had a simpler dinner with just Stefan, Mom, Cliff and I. I wasn't sure how that was going to go down but it was really great. We don't sit down as a family often enough and it gave us a chance to really chat.
Then Mom, Stefan and I played over 3 hours of Rummykub- the BEST GAME EVER! (if you like rummy).
Boxing Day is my Grandma's birthday (she's 83 this year) and we always gather at an aunt's house to have b-day cake and share our stories of boxing day shopping (how long it took to park, where were the best deals etc).
Well we had that this year, but we also did something else. My Aunt Claire got a game with conversation prompters like "If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?" or "Tell us about a difficult situation in your life and how it made you stronger." Some difficult questions at the best of times. And we 'played' for two hours. I can't remember ever having such a meaningful conversation with my extended family. (And then we had ice cream cake- best.)
(And just so you know- I was going to put up a picture of my secondDad here- but Cliff specifically threatened bodily harm if I did so!!!) But here is my Mom- I think she's shining.
More to follow tomorrow- the trip to Winnipeg, the boxing day booze fest at Lori's, the visit with Lola's offspring in Cochrane, the potluck... oh it goes on my friends. It goes on.