“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton,

you may as well make it dance.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

Really, George? The skeleton? Just one? Most families I know have many more than one skeleton in the closet. Tis the season when shrinks’ couches are filled with people stressing over their families. In my family, the skeletons could form their own dance troupe.

I’ve written about the skeletons on my mom’s side of the family (Am I Blue?) and within my own immediate family of origin (Word Salad). My family is so dysfunctional that I could write about it for years. But, today, I am writing about finding the joy in family.

Last month, there was a reunion in Granada Hills, California at the home of my Uncle Dick, my last remaining uncle on my daddy’s side. Daddy was the oldest of three boys, and he died young, at fifty-eight. Uncle Earl, the youngest, died in his seventies. Uncle Dick, the middle brother, is ninety-five.

Uncle Dick and Aunt Betty, who died in 2006, had two sons, Brad and Larry. I never knew my cousins. My baby brother Joe and I grew up in the South and Texas. They grew up in California. As kids, Joe and I had little contact with any extended family. Everyone lived in different states. Brief visits occurred only as we moved locations or took road-trip vacations in our Studebaker station wagon. We never made it to California.