stop me if you've heard this one...
no, i really do have a big family. my father's family is catholic - he is one of seven. each of my paternal grandparents - one of double digits. each of these people who has gotten married? many childrens. thanks for making condoms a sin. my paternal genetic background is a monty python skit.
when still based in ohio, many of my father's cousins (both my marriage and by blood) intermarried with another sprawling clan in the flat parts of the swing state we all love so.
this created a mass of catholics not to be messed with (since most of them weigh in at 6'1", 200lbs min).
over the years, this mass has gotten cancer, spawned more children, gotten in fatal dwis, gotten married, gotten divorced, gone through AA, gone through detox, gone through the fucking wringer.
when there was a reunion in 2000, it was in chicago, so the whole clan could gather centrally. there were over 2000 people in attendance.
2000+. people. there are towns in this country smaller than that.
blood and marriage
we rented a park. a city park. not a small one either, it had a lake.
not a pond.
they had to bring in port-a-johns.
we had tshirts made up so you could tell, by the color of your shirt, who you were related to and how.
so, i have this one "great uncle" - john. he has lived three lives (he is in his 80's) and been married twice. he had three kids by his first wife, and two by his second. his wife is now in her 60's. john has alzheimers - he called me to tell me about the apollo moon landing, in detail, once.
then he called me in the middle of july another time to wish me a happy birthday.
anyhow, john is loopy, but not bad loopy, and certainly not catatonic loopy. his wife had a stroke 2 years ago, and us unable to move around without some heavy mechanical assistance. his youngest daughter from his first marriage, katherine, lived with these two, in the rolling hills of western ohio.
they owned a winter home in northwestern florida. kathy was care taking it and prepping it for the migration down there.
she was, for the record, quite an alcoholic.
so she was found dead of alcohol poisoning early this morning.
as i have discussed in previous posts, i have a fair aquaintence with death.
well, it is the civic duty, in catholic families of this size anyway, that there be representation from every branch of the tree when someone dies, gets hitched, or is born. i think it has something to do with the whole seven sacraments thing, but got mixed up along the way.
anyhow, it was my pleasure this evening to evade the responsibility of being a representative with my father of my limb on the tree. he is on his way to oho now, picking up an uncle en-route.
he has been priming me, for years, to be his second, when he finally gets too old/tired to make these journeys.
it is a mantle i am loathe to assume. it is, i am sad to say, one i am good at though.
i wonder if there is any money in being a funeral planner. not a mortician, or a funeral director - just someone who plans funerals. y'know, kinda like a wedding planner, with more flowers, and less colors to work with.
as Ice Cube once said - "fuck dyin".