This weekend I travelled with my mom from Boston to Long Island to attend my cousin’s baby shower. It was a “controversial” decision. Every family has its secrets, its issues, its feuds. As the youngest cousin, I have inherited the grudge but not the justifications for it nor the full story. It is funny how families can assume you know what the origin of the grudge is and, as a result of this assumption, you are never told the whole story.

So there is this grudge in my family between my dad and one of his sisters. Perhaps it is just sibling rivalry.  Perhaps it is because my dad wishes his siblings would be more active in the care of his mother. Perhaps it is just “old age” coloring one’s interpretation of events in which “slights” are perceived where there are none. I am not sure, but I have not really questioned it.

In travelling down to Long Island this weekend, my goal was to show my cousins that despite this awkward ebbing and flowing of parental tensions that we could all in fact get along and that we all in fact care about each other.  It was a really pleasant trip. We shared stories about our jobs, spouses, hobbies, favorite television shows, and most importantly about our diets. We each found that the other was making dietary decisions to increase veggies and decrease processed foods. We bonded over this and helped each other navigate the buffet. And the food really was delicious.  Long Island really knows how to serve up some Italian Food. The shower was hosted at La Famigilia in Babylon (ironic name, no?). While there, we realized that we were family and life is too short to withhold love and support for one another.  I am so happy my mom and I made the decision to attend and I am really looking forward to our next visit.  Hopefully, we will all be a little lighter in weight and healthier in habit. It was great to be together as an extended family and to renew our bonds with one another and hopefully it chipped away a little at the unnecessary strife that can get in the way of family.

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