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January 2, 2012

This may be the only thing I ever write.  I Started a blog today in order to read a post my friend Michael Vander Dose wrote about his wife Kate, who he lost three months ago to Death.  The depth of his grief is frightening.  Although the depth of his love for Kate could produce nothing less.

I just got back from our epic Christmas travel.  Ever since we blended a family 12 years ago we have done Christmas the same way.  The kids come over from the other house at around 10:30 a.m.  We have our living room Christmas, opening all of the presents, which takes about two hours, because I have a bit of a problem.  We then get into the van with the dog and drive up North to my inlaws.  We have another Christmas, stay an extra day, then drive down from the northern tip ofMinnesotatoChicagoto my family. In  the beginning all three kids came. 

This year by demand of my oldest, Jonathan we did things differently.  We stayed at home on Christmas.  We had our own Christmas dinner and then left the next day for up north.  We stayed a day and left for home a few hours later.  The next morning we took the two girls and headed forChicago.

For fifteen years we have created a second Christmas with my brother (sometimes brothers) sister in law, nephews and nieces and my mom.  In the last five that has included my Nephew Jeff his wife Vanessa and their kids.  This year for reasons having primarily to do with each of are own personality quirks Jeff and his family did not come.  The point of this is to marvel in the fact that not only did that not break me it didn’t ruin Christmas.  We created different magic.  We added a new tradition.  Me, Dick, the kids and my brother and sister in law met Jonathan and his girlfriend at a authentic family owned Italian restaurant midway between my brother’s house and where Lani’s parents live.  Magic.

It is certainly true that family is made through years of life together  but it is also true that is is made in moments of reunion and gatherings.  And it is sometimes made in mistake , grief and drama.


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