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Weddings and funerals

October 6, 2010 - Linda Lobeck
It's either weddings or funerals — that's was the common phrase spoken yesterday among the Marmilick clan. That might sound like the title to a movie, but unfortunately it's what happens in large families. My Dad, who would have been 81 today, has been gone for 28 years. And as time has gone by, we see that side of the family only at weddings and funerals. This all came up because I traveled home yesterday to extend my sympathies to two of my cousins and say my goodbyes to Aunt Maddie, the second oldest in my Dad's family. Everyone remarked that we only see each other at weddings and funerals and that's unfortunate. My Dad's family included seven children and there were 26 first cousins mostly living within the Gladstone-Escanaba area when we were growing up. Most of us had a cousin or two the same age that we were and that was fun growing up. Now we have lost touch with a lot of them and are trying to reconnect through Facebook. After yesterday, I'm advocating that we try and get together for a family reunion soon. Several of my cousins and I organized a reunion quite a few years ago and everyone had a blast. We had pictures and put together a family history, organized games for the kids and of course, had a terrific meal that everyone contributed to. The family's gotten so large that we actually wore name tags so we knew who the spouses and children of the first cousins were. Of course at that time, all my Dad's siblings were still alive — three brothers and four sisters. I think we had at least 100 people all together that weekend. Going to a funeral of a dear family member is a wake-up call. You don't have forever to do the things you want to do, and staying connected in some way with family is so important. Aunt Maddie did that for all of us with her letters and cards and telling us how everyone else was doing. Now it's up to us to carry on and do the same.


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