Ah family

Here’s the thing about family. They drive you crazy. Unless you live in a world where every member of your family is on Zoloft, this is as true about you as it is about me.

The extra added flip with my family is that they come from a region of Italy where being snarky is a way of life and getting sentimental is a sign of weakness. So we don’t do that. We yell a lot. We laugh a lot. The women have actually been known to cry a little together – but not too much. Can’t have that.

As for the men – god bless them. From my brother to my cousins to the missing Bart, they are Italian men through and through. They have managed to remain each others best friends since childhood and that’s no easy task. They think Sunday involves a red sauce – meat or crab, doesn’t matter. Holidays mean no matter how pissed you are at any given member of your family, you show up and eat. Because so long as we are all eating together, everything will work out.

Here’s the one special thing about these guys that keeps all the females in the family from wanting to beat them with a bat sometimes. It’s that we all know that if we needed them, if we needed anything, if we were in trouble, they would be there in a heartbeat. And their wives, daughters, sisters and nieces would be right behind them asking what they could do to help.

I moved very far from my family a long time ago. The reason why I needed to be so far away is no longer something that needs to be discussed. It was what I needed to do in order to live my life as I wanted to live it. It’s not something my family understood then and I’m not all that sure they understand now. But it doesn’t matter. Because almost 50 years later, they are still there for me.

We may differ politically – to put it mildly. We may view religion, pot and bra wearing from very different perspectives. But we are family. And none of that matters in the end. Because in the end, all we really have is each other.

Thanks for always being there for me. Thanks for always caring no matter how far away I am.

OK, that’s my allowable amount of sentimentality for the year. Back to snarky.