You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. (Desmond Tutu)
This past week, while I was in the middle of recovering from surgery, and the day after my family celebrated my daughter's 2nd birthday, I learned of the death of my Aunt Mary, the eldest of my Mom's sisters.
Aunt Mary and her family have hosted almost every Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas family gathering at their house, and were always gracious and loving hosts. Through these parties I grew in my bond with the rest of my extended family. But our bonds are deeper than most; starting with Grandpa Charlie and his beautiful wife (who's still with us!), then passed on through their wonderful daughters, the connection and love that my extended family shares is extraordinary.