Last Saturday, my dad's side of the family had a reunion. We haven't been able to go for the last few years, so we made sure we stopped by this year. It was nice to see family and catch up with a few people. Mostly, it was weird because my dad wasn't there and the people there don't associate with me on a regular basis.
Growing up, the reunion was a big deal. It was at Big Bear Lake and we would always go early and stay late. I was pretty close with all my cousins, so it was really fun for me to get to hang out with them all day. As time went on, they sold the campsite and we moved the reunion to a park in Morgantown. Even now, the reunion just isn't the same. A lot of things have changed over the years, but still I wish that being there wasn't as hard as it was.
I'm trying to figure out what family looks like now. Without my dad, it's so hard to see the faces that knew him so well, that grew up with him, that made so many memories with him. It's easy to forget that I'm not alone in my sadness. But I'm not. There are many aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and a mother who miss my dad as much as I do.
Each person in my family is different, yet very similar. How do I relate to people who I don't know? How can I share my life with people who never took the time to really get to know me? How can I stand up for who I am among people who've always wanted me to be something else? I don't know.
Anyways, this year they had a luau theme at the reunion. It was quite funny to see my family dressed in Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts and lei's. Here is a picture of Patrick, myself and my sister: