When all was said and done, we decided that Himself would take the day off on Friday and I would fly to the anniversary celebration by myself, leaving him home to handle the rest of the weekend's plans with the kids. It seemed like the best solution, although getting everything done before I left last week was so crazy that I was really beginning to second-guess it. And then when I had to drive to the airport an hour away at 5AM Friday in a driving rainstorm, I started second-guessing in earnest.
The thing is, I have two aunt/uncle sets on this side and five cousins, none of whom I'd seen since my wedding 12 years ago and two cousins whom I haven't seen in well over 20 years. Did some quick math for one of those yesterday...he was 13 the last time I saw him and is now 38!! Wow. These cousins all have kids, none of whom I'd met except on Facebook...it was way past time for a family reunion on this side. Especially since this is a happy occasion and not a funeral, as people keep pointing out!
All the aunts and uncles and cousins are here and all but a few spouses and kids. Today is the celebration Mass and dinner reception, which will be pleasant events and full of people, no doubt. But last night it was just family at the anniversary aunt and uncle's house, a low-key dinner, people drinking beer and telling stories and the kids running around the lawn and having pillow fights (with one vase a casualty!) It was a great night of reconnecting with family and I wished my kids were there with all their second cousins more than I can even begin to tell you. Hassle or no hassle, I would have regretted missing this weekend for the rest of my life; beyond grateful that I'm here!