If you haven't had your turkey-fuelled celebration yet, may it be as pleasant as mine was yesterday, surrounded by extended family at my sister's house. My nephew, Scott, who is my brother's son, joined us. Scooter is 23 and works in I.T. here in Ottawa. Also there was Ma Tante Sue, my brother-in-law's sister. So as my sister, Dale, said, she told co-workers that her brother, sister-in-law and nephew were going to be at her place, and then got puzzled looks when she added that they're from three different families. Sue is a widow and her only daughter, Alexie, is in university in Guelph and unable to make it home for the weekend. Of course, in addition to bro-in-law Den (my favorite brother-in-law, regardless of being my only brother-in-law), he and Dale's daughters Michelle and Caitlin and Golden Doodle Zoey rounded out the gathering.
Coincidentally, today is also Dale and Den's 24th anniversary. It's hard to believe that my baby sister has been married for almost a quarter century. Brother Danny and sister-in-law Candy (my favorite and only brother and sister-in-law, respectively) will have been married 26 years in December. I was their best man, one of two times that I've been best man. The other marriage only lasted 17 years, so I figure as best man, I'm batting .500 .
Family is among the things I have to be thankful for, and I think that's something that becomes more apparent as one ages. Needless to say, that includes Dad and StepMama, niece Jen (Danny and Candy's daughter), my Mom's sisters and their families, who continue to consider my dad family. Of course, he and Mom were married 50 years when she died four years ago, but if my aunts didn't like him, it still would have been easy to write him off shortly after Mom's funeral. Four of the five aunts who live in Cochrane attended Dad's wedding to StepMama in 2004, and his 75th birthday party this past summer, and say he'll always be like a brother to them, so I'm thankful for that.
And of course, I am eternally thankful that a certain 10-year-old kid entered my life in July, 1993. As I've said before umpteen times, if fate decided that I wouldn't be a Dad, being Dano's Big Brother has more than compensated for it.
So count your blessings today, and give thanks to God or whoever.