In May 2011, I traveled to Portland to celebrate my sister Mary's 75th birthday with my family. Since we lost our Mom and our oldest brother Vince, these celebrations are even more precious to us.
Mary is my oldest sister, and was in college when I was born. Our family had two sets of kids, three born before World War II (Vince, Mary and Rita) and three born after (Phil, Marc and me).
I am the youngest, and I love all my siblings. My sisters have called me "Pete" ever since I was born. My middle name, before I changed it at marriage, was Therese, so they started calling my by my initials: "PT" and it got shortened to Pete.
My friends used to ask me if my oldest siblings were more like parents to me. I would tell them that no, I recognized them as my brothers and sisters, just older than the brothers and sisters that my friends had. Because my brother Vince married and had kids when I was young myself, I became an aunt at the age of three.
This party for my sister Mary was so much fun - the entire family was there, and several of the nephews and nieces. Mary's friends came - some that she has known since high school at Immaculata Academy (her husband Rich always jokingly calls it "Immaculata Tech").
|Marc, Rita, me, Mary, Phil|
This picture of the five remaining siblings, which, while blurry, and has a thumb in the upper right hand side, (I didn't take it!) means a lot to me. There we were, all together, all happy to be together, and all missing our brother Vince, who would have been with us if cancer had not taken his life. His absence at that party was palpable. But he was there with us, I know it.
|Hazelnut, Spice, Chocolate, Carrot|
There were four birthday cakes! The one with the strawberries is a North Douglas Chocolate Cake made by yours truly. Isn't that built in sideboard gorgeous? The party was hosted by my brother Marc and his wife Kerry.
The Gonzales family knows how to throw a party. We know how to celebrate each other, and appreciate each other and love each other, because we know how precious we all are to each other and that life can change in a twinkling of an eye.
I'm linking up with Clan Donaldson. Hop on over there and look at the other lovely pictures of celebrations.