During the prayer and at the mention of my wife Monica, who is deceased, being departed. My five year old granddaughter, also named Monica, blurted out “where did I go”. Well as you can understand that changed the solemn tone of the prayer to one of laughter.

After Marianne’s prayer I got up to introduce the reason for the event and how it came about. This comprised of the first page of this blog. Once I was finished, Marianne introduced as much of her family as she could remember, I did the same, Gail stood up for my missing brother Sam and introduced their family, and then Jess did the same for her family. After the laughter died down the food started to arrive and we began to eat and continue talking.

During lunch my mind drifted to thoughts of my mother and father, Rose and Frank, and how I hoped they were looking down from their home in heaven to see the beautiful family and rich legacy they left behind. I found that at that time I missed both my parents just as much as possible. I could see the beautiful smiles on both of their faces, and the gleam in their eyes. I am sure this reunion had made them a little happier in their home in heaven. Of course I thought of my wife Monica and how happy she would be to see the additions to our family, little Monica and her great granddaughter, Alexis. My thoughts ended thinking about my nephew Jerome, the first of this clan to depart the earth and head to heaven. He was a young man who did not need to be taken so early in his life. I am sure that he is missed by his father and mother as well as all of his family.

We talked of old times and I did a lot of remembering. It was such a shock to see people who I remember more as a child stand in front of me as young adults. The children I remember as children had children of their own and OMG yes some of these children had children. Heck not only was I a great grandfather I was a great uncle as well. What happened? Had I fallen asleep only too awake as a much older person? Oh what the hell. I am happy and joyful to not only be a member of this group of wonderful people but I know that I am a little part of each person present.

The reunion was beneficial to me because I was able to see my nephews and nieces who I could only remember as children present with their families and being social with cousins they had not seen in years. I was very happy for one of my granddaughters who much earlier this year had asked me why we did not have family reunions like other families. I know that this is just the Giudicessi half of the family and as a starting point that was a lot of work. Who knows maybe next time we could include the Federico half next time. I am sure there is someplace in California large enough to have such an event.

Now, I must thank my little sister, Jessica, for all the effort and time spent to put this little reunion on for the Giudicessi families.

I will also relate a story that was told to me shortly after the reunion was over. Well it seems that some families continued the gathering of the Giudicessi families once the lunch was over. One group consisted of my two daughters families. Yes, Deborah and Susan decided to head to Deborah’s home and relax in the pool with the children. The story as told to me by my daughter Deborah went something like this. The four youngest girls, Abby, Braylin, Monica, and my great granddaughter Alexis were playing and talking in the pool when Alexis shouted out that she was a “Giudicessi Girl”. With that she got out of the pool and told her grandmother, great aunt Susan and soon to be great uncle Bruce that she was a “Giudicessi Girl”. Deborah made me smile with the telling of this story as it only drove home the fact that this reunion was special and very important to one and all.