My mother was a Thibault. She died young, but her family and my father's family had been close so that I was able to have connection with her clan as well as the one that had the primary influence in my growing up. Mother had a sister, Lucy, who was the oldest while mother was the youngest. In between were five boys. Of these seven there were only four who had children: Henry the oldest boy; Felix, the middle child, Frank, just younger that Frank and my mother. There were 14 grandchildren who lived although there were four who did not survive infancy and several miscarriages. There are twelve of us left. We have been talking about a family reunion for some time. The last one was in the 1980's and a number of those folks have gone to their great reward. Believe me the rewards have been handed out as these are pretty special people.
My cousin, Frank, a retired doctorr. who keeps his heart pumping by coaching a teenage tennis team, got roped into being the planner, host, chief cook(actually that job fell to his baby brother, Jep) and bottle washer. He did a fine job and we had a great time visiting all those people we use to play with in the sandbox. It was also wonderful to meet new members as the newer generation married and is happily producing an even newer crop of Thibaults.
One of my daughters had had a mini reunion with one of her second cousin just a couple of weeks before this big one. She has just recently moved to Florida for a new job and this cousin's wife was going to be there for a medical conference with him in toe. When he sent out an inquirey as to good eating places, my daughter responded and they met for dinner. What started out to be an obligation turned out to be a real connection for them. They had not seen each other since early childhood, yet everything clicked into place. As a result, they spent a good portion of their free time together over the next few days. I know why my daughter liked them so much as I reconnected with them at the reunion and found them very likable and entertaining.
My Aunt Helen was there with her daughter, also a doctor. Do we see a trend here? She is the last of our parents' generation and as always was loving and gracious. She was able to meet her grandson's new wife and visit with all of the other family members she has missed over the last few years. She is such a soft spoken Southern lady. I also loved seeing how different family groups had taken different tracks. We had a wide variety of lifestyles represented with artists, computer techs, business people, doctors, house husbands, retired people, people from the movie industry, teachers, and the list goes on. Yet everyone seemed to have things to say to the others. Maybe we expect acceptance within families that we don't expect in the general public. I think it would be so much nicer if I could go through the world with a family feeling towards all of my fellow humans. This is not to say that I like everything about my family. This reunion reminded me of all the things I love about being a Thibault, but it also reminded me of some of the things that annoy me about some of them. The important thing is that the love over-rides the annoyance. That's how it should be not just among the Thibaults but among humans.
We're already talking about another reunion next year. There are few people I enjoy being with anymore than these. I didn't choose them. They are just part and parcel of who I have become. I am grateful to them for making the effort to keep me a part of this wild, whacky ( Didn't I mention the crazy-ness that exists in even the most staid of them?), wonder family. They are smart and sassy and completely unique. I loved visiting with them and I'm ready to do it again.