Monday, May 11, 2009

back in los angeles...

well, i'm back from a few days in toronto and so grateful to be home.  every time i leave los angeles, i'm reminded of how much i love it here.  coming from northern california, i *never* thought i'd say that...

anyway, i went to toronto for my great aunt's funeral.  she was married to my favorite uncle leo.  leo died last year and i was unable to make his funeral, so when she passed and i was able to go, i thought it would be really nice to show support to my cousins.  uncle leo was actually my dad's uncle, but leo was the *much* younger sister of my grandma, so he was closer in age to my dad than my grandma.  

leo and his family lived in canada {my grandmother's family immigrated from italy to canada}, so i didn't get the opportunity to spend much time with them.  i was able to get to know leo and joyce as they often traveled to california to visit my grandma.  anyway, i knew some of my cousins, but not very well.  leo and joyce had four kids and one i keep in touch with, two i've only met a few times and one i just met on this last trip.  although i went for a funeral, a very sad occasion indeed, i'm so glad i went and i had such a lovely time.  

it really was nice to see that part of the family and spend some time with them.  it got me thinking about those life "events" such as weddings and funerals, when family really gets together.  those occasions are so important to renew family bonds and visit with each other.  i had invited leo and joyce to my wedding, but leo passed the month before our wedding. at joyce's funeral i really had an opportunity to spend time with the family and show my support to them.  i also met my dad there {it's his side of the family} and i think it was important to him that i showed up and was able to be a support.  especially after my wedding, where i felt he really stepped up and was more open & accepting of us, i wanted to "return the favor" in way.  we also spent time looking at our family tree on, and filling in some blanks and talking about our relatives who immigrated from italy.

funerals are really for the living, a time to honor and acknowledge those who passed before us, and an opportunity to sow the seeds of continuing familial relationships.

{photo credit:  simona santoro on flickr}

1 comment:

Meg said...

It's so true, my family never is able to get together except for weddings and funerals. Since we're hosting a happier event, we're trying to make lots of time for family gathering.

I'm glad you are back, and I hope you get a little time to breathe and process.