Today would have been Joanne's 68th birthday had she survived. This being the first birthday since her death I was at a bit of a quandry as to what to do with myself. First inclination was to make the 65 mile drive down to the cemetery to put new flowers on her grave. (I'll do that tomorrow.) The more I thought about it she would have preferred a more joyous time than that. So, I decided to surround myself with family and have a cookout at the house. All three of my kids with their families came together today along with Joanne's mom.
With everyones busy schedules it is hard to get all of them together at one time. As it was I had all of them except for one granddaughter so we had a good crowd. Cooked hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill and had potato salad and cole slaw. Plenty of food to go around with enough left over for me to eat for a few days. (Since I'm really not much of a kitchen person I relied on the local deli for the salads.) For desert Carrie and her grandmother (Jo's Mom) brought a cake. Everything was pretty much ready when they all arrived and afterwards the kids jumped in and cleaned everything up.
Alex and his girlfriend Cristie; Alan and his partner Cathy; Carrie and her husband John; Mardell and me.
Catlin and Madison
JJ, Aurora and Cadence
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, Alex and Alan are my biological children. Carrie is my child by choice. (She is biologically Joanne's niece but she is just as much mine as the boys are.) Mardell is Joanne's Mom. Catlin and Madison are Alan's stepchildren, JJ is Carrie and John's son, Aurora is Alan's daughter from a previous relationship, and Cadence is Alan and Cathy's daughter. The only one missing was Emma, Alan's other daughter from a previous relationship. (Got all that firgured out?) We are not the most typical of families but we are family and I enjoy each and everyone of them. Filling the house with these people was the best thing I could have done to make a potentially sad day into a celebration.