Monday, September 20, 2010

A Family Gathering

A family gathering - one filled with so many blessings and promises.  Four sisters, together at last.  All so loving and adorable.  My Mom - 87 come November- Louise (Italian birth name - Liberata),  My Aunt Marie - 90 come January (Italian birth name - Gallucci)  Aunt Dusty 85 come April (Italian birth name - Isabella)  Aunt Honey 83 come June -(Italian birth name - Marta),  their brother Tom, (Italian Birth name - Giatano) and their sister Connie (Italian birth name Concetta) have passed away.  And there was a set of twins born after my Mom who died at birth.  My grandmother raised six children on her own when her husband died of pneumonia at age 39.  Aunt Connie had kidney failure and was on dialysis for 8 years.  Aunt Dusty is on dialysis only starting a few months before my Mom.  Whom, as you all know, is now on dialysis.  To see them all together was such a gift.  Aunts Dusty and Honey never married.  They went from living with my grandmother to working for priests as housekeepers at various rectories for 30 years.  Can you even imagine?  And wow, do they have stories untold.  They also dress exactly alike, and I mean exactly.  They look like twins although they are three years apart. :-)
See picture below and enlarge so you can see them better.  amazing huh?

  And here are the four sisters together, below. My Mom is in the red, next to her is Aunt Marie, then Aunt Dusty and then Aunt Honey. 

And 6 of the nine first cousins were all there, as well.  Our oldest, Tommy Boy,  second oldest, Sandy, then Patty, my sister Nancy, me, and the youngest, Lenore.  One of our cousins, Nick, is in Florida, another-Lucy, was sick, and Anthony couldn't make it.

We had a wonderful time together.  Tommy-Boy was in from Colorado so we gathered at cousin Patty's house for our mini reunion.  We even have a family "song" which we wrote when I was a kid.  We would meet to plan family outings and events and always open our meeting with this song.  Here are the words to "The Rels"

We are the rels you see
formed from a happy family
our meetings are never planned in advance
we meet when we can
and usually by chance

we always have laughter
and plenty of song
our refreshments are many
but never last long

our motto is to love and be strong
and with unity
we will never go wrong

rah rah rah!!

cool huh??  :-) 

One of my cousins was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and it has metastasized to the liver.  It is stage four.  We all offered our love and support and continued prayers and hope.  I don't want to say which cousin due to privacy,  I am sure you understand.  It is a difficult time for many in our family and we are fortunate to have such unity of love and support.  So this reunion was special in so many, many ways.  The tears and laughter were abundant as was the food and wine.  We broke bread, ate, drank, sang, laughed, cried and reminisced.  It was all so wonderful. 

Family is a powerful force.  Yes, family.  Amen.


Bernie said...

What wonderful pictures Gail, and your mom looks absolutely beautiful. I am so happy to see everyone look so good. Yes family is a wonderful thing, they always give us a soft place to fall and the love and support are always unconditional.
Be well my friend.....:-)Hugs

Lola said...

I love all those Italian names which are so familiar to me :)
You all look great and happy.
Warm hugs from an Italian reader

Just Be Real said...

Thank you Gail for sharing your special moments. Blessings.

Diana said...

I am assuming that this was an impromptu reunion? How lucky you all are to have each other Gail. And your mother looks wonderful. Through all of the problems and troubles, I am happy that you were all able to enjoy each others company! Love Di ♥

Cinner said...

Gail, this one made my heart happy, it was nice you could all be together. now those two Aunts of yours, do dress exactly the same right down to the jewelry. lol you would think they were twins not 3 years apart. I still have my company, she is 83. I will tell you her story one day. Woke up today back is feeling good so far today, so this is a blessing, you look well my friend. think of you often. love your family song. hugs, take care. love you.

Gail said...


First, I am SO glad your back is better so far today. phew. And ya. those two Aunts of mine are such icons. And, they eat exactly the same items and amounts, as well. Enjoy your company and we will talk soon.

Love you-


Oh yes, Mom is doing well - she hd a lovely time, we all did. ANd it was actually planned for a couple of months around when Tommy-Boy was coming to CT. We are quite a crew, huh? :-_

Love you


I am so glad you shared in our family gathering. Be well my friend.

Love you

HI LOLA-(my Italian friend)

Thank you for sharing in our gathering and I toolove all the Italia names :-)

Love you


I love what you wrote about family, - "they always give us a soft place to fall...".I sighed right out loud. :-) ANd my Mom is amazing and solovely - every day is such a gift.

Love you

Love to allof you
peace.hope and healing....

Eileen said...

I love family reunions! And your family reunion looked beautiful and I'm sure it meant a great deal in the face of so many challenges. It was nice to read some of your memories and I love your family song! Sweet.

We always play "We Are Family" at our family reunions, and all the 'girls' lock arms and sing along! I loved seeing your Mom with her sisters, really very touching.

I'm sorry for the emotional turmoil you've had on top of the physical turmoil. Your previous post made me think of a quote I once read (and copied into my journal) that helps me:
"Commit to hope. There's reason to! For the believer, hope is Divinely assured things that aren't here yet." ~ Jack Hayford

My hope for you and my prayer is that all works out for your good.
Love to you,

Whitemist said...

I am sure these gatherings, with news both good and bad, help you continue and recover yourself.
All beautiful pictures.

Teacher's Pet said...

Gail...I loved looking at each photo...enlarging them and looking at the love and the smiles. Thank you sooo much for sharing those with us.
My thoughts are with your cousin with pancreatic cancer. I hope that one day SOON a cure for cancer will be found.
Beautiful family....wonderful love and memories shared at the family gathering, I'm sure.
How neat the family song is from your childhood. "Your" song for always.
Love to you from Jackie

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

How delightful. Certainly a joyous and sure to be ever a memorable gathering. All that Italian! How can it not be loving.

Hugs and love to all,
Rose Marie

Shen said...

How lovely and uplifting. There are no perfect families and certainly there is no perfect life... but you seem to make the most of yours and that's wonderful. I'm so glad you had a good reunion!

Gail said...


"thank you" so much for joining in this celebration and appreciating this family gatheriung with me. I so love how you connect and feel my heart.

Love to you


I am so happy to see you here and have you part of this gathering.

Love you man.


I am so glad you shared in this famaly gathering with me. I love your presence and wisdom. And your prayers for my cousin are much appreciated.
I was 6 years old when we first started singing that song. It is forever.......

Love to you


You are so right - nothing bigeror better than Italian family tradition, loyalty and love!! So glad you shred in this family gathering. :-)

Love to you


I am happy you joined me at this wonderful family gathering and that you felt the warmth and love with us. :-)
Love to you

Love and appreciation to all of you
peace, hope and healing......

Together We Save said...

Such wonderful pictures...and wonderful memories.

Gail said...


thank you somuch for your kind words and sharing in my family gathering.
Love Gail

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Your post made me smile and sniffle...sigh. Yes! Family is wonderful...but you've all been through so much!!! And I wish and pray for nothing but smooth sailing for you all!!! But I know that's not probably not going to be the case...You are such a beautiful family!!! Love you!!! Janine XO

Gail said...


thank you so much for your kind words and sharing in our family gathering. I love how yi "fit' right in and just know. :-)

Love to you
peace, hope and healing.....

Andy said...

I'm so pleased you had this reunion - it sounds wonderful!

Gail said...


thanks for sharing in our family reunion. It was a wonderful day. :-)
love to you
peace and hope

cordieb said...

Hi Gail! i love hearing about your family such a feeling of unity and love. Continued blessings to you and yours.


Gail said...


thank you so much for sharing in the love of our family gathering. It is nice to see you here. :-)

Love Gail
peace, hope and healing.....

Wanda..... said...

Gail, your mom looks remarkably good and You look lovely and filled with joy. Sorry for being so late in visiting. Have a wonderful Autumn, Gail. Good wishes for your Mom!