The funny thing about family is…

…that even if they make you mad, or you don’t see them for a while, or you don’t even know some of them, they are still yours. And they tell you a little about yourself.

I had the chance to take my still freshly minted husband to visit with the folks from my dad’s side of the family tree.

Unfortunately, my dad passed before The Good Man got the chance to meet him. TGM has heard all of my stories and I thought it was important for him to hear the stories that others had to tell.

I think you can learn to know a person by their stories.

This trip was also a lesson for me in asking for what you want.

I asked my aunts and uncles, surviving siblings of my father, to be willing to tell us stories about my dad.

They were only too happy to respond. And oh did they deliver.

The first day of my visit, my wish was not just fulfilled, my expectations were far exceeded.

Two aunts and two uncles, siblings of my dad, along with an aunt and an uncle by marriage, my mom, my husband and I all met for lunch.

Our orders were barely placed when the story telling began. Oh does my family love to tell a good story. My grandparents were real characters, like something out of fiction, and there is quite a bit of fodder there for stories.

I haven’t laughed that hard in a very, very long time. In fact, had I not been laughing, I probably would have cried my eyes out for all the gratitude I felt.

In two hours of lunch, I got a pretty deep glimpse into my dad’s life growing up. I didn’t know my dad’s side of the family that well since we were in New Mexico and they were in Indiana. Since my dad’s passing, I’ve been developing relationships with these folks and feel sad on the years I missed, but happy for the love and friendship and family bond I am earning as an adult.

I know a little bit more about my dad now. I know a little bit more about me, too.

And maybe the timing on this visit couldn’t have been more perfect now that I face the next decade of my crazy, mixed up, perfect life.

The funny thing about my family is…we may be a little strange, but the roots of our raisin’ run deep.

I wouldn’t have us any other way.