Thursday, June 11, 2015

Reunion Weekend, Part 2

I had seen some of my Olsen family pretty recently, but many of my Tucker relatives I hadn't seen in at least ten years.

No two families could be more opposite. While the Olsens are quiet and kind, the Tuckers are boisterous and tease mercilessly. Olsens are reserved and stay in the background, while Tuckers are outgoing and in your face. I have always known that the Olsens love me, but there is something about the fierce, intense loyalty of the five Tucker brothers that made me feel safe.

Dad's oldest brother died eight years ago, and one brother didn't make the reunion, but I loved seeing these three together.
Don't let this picture fool you. It was the only serious one I could get of them.

Then I started spying on them, and took these as they exchanged somewhat inappropriate jokes.
How I love these men. They lost their dad in a car accident when they were all young (ages 12 to 3) and their mom to Alzheimer's 23 years ago. For over two decades, it's just been the brothers through the good and the not so good. Marriages, marathons, and dozens of grandbabies. Divorces, job changes, and losing children to abuse, bad choices, and death. They may razz each other incessantly, but there is a deep love among these brothers that no practical joke could ever negate.
Here's the whole tribe.
Can you find me, Tucker, Karli, and Annie?

I wanted a picture of all of my cousins, but that was easier said than done with all these clowns involved.
At the last minute, one more cousin came, and we got an acceptable picture. Each family was missing one, but here are twelve of us, oldest to youngest--the most that have been together in a long time.

It was a weekend I'll remember for a long time. I remembered where I came from, who had helped make me who I am, and what is most important. It's family.

I hope I can instill these same values in my own children, their children, and my children's children in the years to come.

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