Momma Told Me: You define your own family, no piece of paper can do that for you.Ahhh, family. Websters defines 'family' as "A basic social unit consisting of parents and their offspring." I don't need to tell you I thin that's a bunch of malarkey. You see, my grandma always preached that one's family was only limited by the length of their arms. Momma's Momma, or Oma as it's known in German, lived her life with her arms perpetually outstretched. Now, this side of my family, Momma's that is, is constantly rambunctious, sometimes offensive, but always supportive. We've been through a lot in the past year, adjusting without our Matriarch on the ground to guide us. But I regress, family is not what you are born with, though an allegiance to blood is always nice, family is what you claim to make you whole. For some its their furbabies, for others an adopted son, or in my family's case, any warm hearted soul passing by. Their outlook is infectious, and their love for fun, and contrasting compassion, makes them generous friends and lifetime loyalists.
Yes, to me, she was the mother of my cousins. As I've grown up, and my eyes have learned to focus less narrow, I've seen more of the woman she really is. I was spoiled enough to have my Aunt and cousins live directly across the street from my grandparents, so I could get the most our of our rare but treasured visits. Reflecting back, there is an astounding amount of my grandmother in this woman. Not only does her constant smile match her outstretched arms (not a single employee, neighbor, or passing stranger goes without her thought), but her strength and perseverance throughout the years of life's trials and tribulations serve as a model for my own life. She is not Momma. I do not have the same relationship with her as I do my own mom; but I do admire the way she gets the most out of life, always laughing, always loving.
So that is a little about the woman we all gathered to surprise, the day after her 50th birthday (by the way, she is the blonde on the floor in the photo below- she hardly looks 30, right?) My two cousins and Uncle began planning this ruse several months back. It's much more complicated than it seems, as some of our relatives had to be flown in, while other friends and family drove for hours just to celebrate this woman. An entire suite was rented for the evening's affairs, and we got to watch the Angels game from a box with an amazing view (and all you can eat pizza, wings, hot dogs, cracker Jacks, and more, too!) I'm not really an Angels fan; they're the home team I choose to support, but I bleed Red Sox Red, for my roots on my dad's side of the family. Luckily, this day the Angels were playing the Astros and I didn't have to take sides. I did, however, bring Chicken Purse (look for Adventures of Chicken Purse on the blog soon), and received countless praise for my less than 'Coach' taste in style.
What Daughter Says: I have family members I may never know, in this great big group- but it is an amazing feeling to know they love me anyway!