Thursday, July 20, 2006

Weddings and Funerals

I'm blessed with a rich family heritage that begins, and often ends in New York City and its surrounding boroughs. Half Irish and half Italian, I grew up with quite a large extended family around me. My parents' friends became family, and my family are often my closest friends.

My aunt's funeral offered yet another opportunity to reconnect - a spur of the moment reunion that brought together people we'd never see otherwise. It is a blessing.

My aunt's "celebration" was held at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Staten Island, New York - the church she and my mother grew up in, the church my parents were married in, the church where I and many of my cousins were baptized. A small neighborhood church, this building sheltered and fed generations of my family.

While I was there my cousin told me about her upcoming wedding, one that I will definitely attend this fall. The older I get the more I treasure my history. I am a mosaic of all those who came before me. My mother's generation of women ended with the passing of my aunt. It's my turn, our turn, to be the connection points of the family. For better, and for worse, we are a family. May this remind you of yours.

Blessing for a Family
We are a family.
For one another we are love and trial,
Strength and trouble.
Even when far apart we belong to one another,
And in various we remember and pray for one another.
We join now to give thanks to our God
And to ask God's blessing on this family,
Those who are present and those who are not.