…To see my nephew wed. My nephew Joshua, that is, not my nephew Billy, pictured above. I don’t have any pictures of Joshua, but I’ll take some tomorrow at his wedding. In Boston.
When I first met my wife Maureen—who is one of 11 children—I was swept into a maelstrom of future nieces and nephews, including Joshua and nine or ten others. All munchkins, and all delightful. I can still remember how much I looked forward to going big-time into the uncle business. I had no experience, but I felt I was immensely qualified. Maureen assured me it would be a snap. Just like skiing.
Soon, Maureen’s nephew Michael and his sister Jessica were ring bearer and flower girl at our wedding. That was 23 years ago. They were flower children—their father, an ex-cop, drove a Volkswagen. Then we all grew up. Mike is now an ex-Marine. Jessica is still a federal marshal in Florida. Billy, above, recently joined the Air Force. He’s training to operate the fuel nozzle for mid-air fueling, and is in his Uncle Joe’s (Maureen’s brother’s) crew on a flying DC10 gas station. Joe, a pilot in the reserves, told me at Christmas that he thinks there is near zero chance that Billy will be deployed to Iraq.
Joshua. The man of the weekend is a computer man. He works for IBM. His sister Katrina, studying pharmacy in San Diego, married two years ago. Very sadly, their sister Andrea died in October, 2001, of cancer. She was a senior in high school. I learned of her diagnosis on the morning after the 2000 election. That was a bad day. She lived into the saddest month of all our lives. I’m out of touch with Josh, but I have seen him from time to time. While most of my nieces and nephews are taller than me, Joshua towers over me. He has a goatee that encircles an enormous toothy grin. I remember him as a spry little monkey-boy in Terre Haute in the early 1980s. I have yet to meet his future (near-term future) wife, Christina. But I sent spygirls to her wedding shower a month ago, and they really like her.
Well, I now have 26 nieces and nephews on Maureen’s side of the family, including Joe’s two little girls, both adopted in China. The youngest of all, Dominic, was born to sister-in-law Katie more than two months prematurely. He needed heart surgery almost immediately. He’s a vivacious three year old now, and he’ll be Big Chief at the wedding, as he is at all family affairs.
Hope to have some good photos of the “munchkins” and others next week. And I hope to get a little time, camera in hand, in and around Boston, one of my favorite cities.