Dear World,

My grandmother turned 80 this year. She has incredible energy and stamina and very few of the “scarf knitting/rocking chair” type grandmothery things about her. Her voice is low and strong, and her big brown eyes are incredibly kind. She talks to strangers like old friends, and she is almost unforgettable as a personality. My dad and his siblings decided to throw her a surprise birthday day party for the big 80th, and I wanted to join the fun and fly to Nevada for a few days to attend the big party.


Surrounded by fifty or so family members, I began to collect similarities that we all had. First of all, we are all loud talkers and laughers. The house grew to almost rock concert level as all aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents swapped stories. Secondly, we almost all love to dance… even without any alcohol. Now, some need a little liquid courage, but you should have seen the dance floor filled on a Sunday afternoon with just iced tea and coffee at the bar. Lastly, we all love each other and genuinely like being around each other. Being around family is not just a duty for us, but you can tell it is something we all truly enjoy.

Families like mine begin with just two people saying yes to one another, and it grows from there. All these people with big personalities and similar features came from one love story: Marie and Joe’s. As I write this post on a plane home I realize my story is bigger than just my own. I am not just Marie; I am a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin, and a granddaughter. Thank You Grandma Marie for your story which was the prologue for mine, and I will try my best to make your epilogue as beautiful and courageous as your story.




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