It’s 2:33 in the afternoon and myself is just starting to feel a bit more………. well, normal. I’m hung over and that hasn’t happened in a long time.
We left Long Island very early this morning so that we could spend this afternoon and evening relaxing before starting the new work week.
Not-too bright-eyed and bushy tailed. I’m really disgusting because my hungover skincare routine this morning consisted of brushing my teeth and applying deodorant. I got in the car with smeared mascara and caked on foundation. Don’t judge!
When I say early, I mean it. We hit the road at seven in the morning. Everyone at my sister’s house was asleep so it was the perfect time to follow through with a variation on The Irish Exit. I didn’t wake anyone up. We just left. Seriously, had I woken any one member of the family who were staying at my sister’s, we would have had coffee, then breakfast and three hours later, we would finally be hitting the road.
And it’s a good thing we left early. It only took a half hour to get from Bay Shore to the Verrazano Bridge! Life is grand when there’s no traffic!
So, let me tell you about our visit to the Island for the Gorman Family Reunion 2018!
It was an homage to our parents, aunts and uncles and grandparents. Top Row, Left to Right! Uncle Francis, Sr. Josephine, Grandma Gorman, Uncle Tommy, Grandpa Gorman, Aunt Margie, Sr. Eleanor. Bottom Row, Left to Right. Aunt Tessie, my mom Germaine, Uncle Joey, Uncle Genie. We each received this reunion magnet!
You would think I was traveling for a week with the stuff I lugged with me. But I needed my reunion outfit, my wigs, my makeup, shoes, cookies, pound cake…
All this–for one night!
I kept my travel ensemble simple and wore my French girl Wig! Oh lala!
Traffic on Saturday is always bad whenever we head out there. Yesterday was no different. In fact, my sister called to warn us that there were a lot of First Holy Communions so we may have wanted to change up our route.
Let me explain something. Long Island is chock full of Catholics and Jews. And any childhood “event” such as a First Holy Communion, Confirmation, a Bris or a Mitzvah, be it Bar or Bat, is cause for a huge blow out—usually at a catering hall or restaurant. And everyone’s family and friends attend. And traffic goes from really bad to horrific.
Our drive wasn’t bad until we hit parts of the Belt Parkway going from Brooklyn into Nassau County. But the worst part of the traffic hit us on the Southern State Parkway. Yes. My sister was correct. Billy Joel’s favorite Catholic girl, Virginia’s daughter or granddaughter must’ve made her Communion. And to further elaborate, even though the traffic is always bad, I still just feel really comforted every time I pass over the Verrazano Bridge from Staten Island over to Brooklyn. I get a good feeling inside because I’m going home.
I knew what to expect in terms of traffic but I’ll tell you, the feeling I get the second I arrive on the Brooklyn side of this bridge gives me the greatest feeling of comfort….
…And the feeling of comfort grows stronger when I officially cross the border into Brooklyn!
We diverted and took the Ocean Parkway, which runs along the Ocean side from Jones Beach to Robert Moses. At that point the ride was somewhat ethereal because a heavy fog hadn’t lifted and it was just mesmerizing to, once again, be driving by the beaches that I grew up spending my summers on.
An ariel view of the Ocean Parkway, yesterday’s fog did not allow for a clear view of the ocean, but that salty scent of the sea wafted to the car. It was glorious!
We arrived at my sister’s house, and Chippy got to meet his canine cousin Luger. Both got along swimmingly.
And while Bonaparte sat in the back yard, soaking up the sun, my sisters and I ran a few errands. We argued quite a bit about politics until I mentioned that I wasn’t here to discuss the political scene in the USA. I was there for fun. And fun we had.
The three sisters–me, Theresa, and Germaine! And we’re all smiling–that’s good!!!!
Siblings. Whatever annoyance we are to each other, it kind of gets tossed by the wayside when you haven’t seen each other in a long time. My sisters, along with my brother Tom, had a great time together before heading off to the reunion.
Now—let me explain. My mother was one of nine living siblings (two passed away at a young age). Two of the siblings entered the convent when they were young teens because that’s what large Irish Catholic families did many years back. All of my mom’s other siblings got married and had anywhere between two and five kids. That’s quite a few cousins.
Another photo of the nine Gorman siblings. This was from a reunion that was over thirty years ago! Bottom Row, left to right: My mother, Germaine; Sr. Josephine; Sr. Eleanor; Aunt Margie; Aunt Tessie. Top Row, left to right: Uncle Tommy; Uncle Francis; Uncle Joey; Uncle Genie
And growing up, there were many family barbeques, Communions, Confirmations, Graduations, Weddings and annual Christmas parties.
My grandfather Gorman–was he on his way to his own wedding? Where was my grandmother? Was he at someone else’s wedding. He is flanked by his sisters my Great Aunts Birdie and Mazie. I believe that are at Our Lady Of Grace Church in Old Howard Beach!
My Aunt Tessie’s Communion photo. I’m sure the family had a huge blow out for that celebration!
Aunt Tessie, left and my mom, Germaine, right. After a day at Our Lady of Grace grammar school!
One of the many family barbeques. Hey, was Aunt Margie celebrating July 4th or Bastile day?
This is my aunt, Sr. Josephine before she entered the convent. I think she was thirteen in this pic so the baby must’ve been Aunt Tessie.
Aunt Margie and my mom being sisterly silly!
Unfortunately, as all our parents aged, funerals became part of the events as well. But that’s not something to dwell on. Instead let’s dwell on the happy occasions like their weddings.
Uncle Joey and Aunt Gloria..
Aunt Margie and Uncle Tommy Lynch
A family pic of Aunt Margie and Uncle Tommy’s wedding. At this time, both grandparents had passed and the two older women are Aunt Birdie and Aunt Mazie.
Aunt Tessie and Uncle Joe’s wedding. Aunt Tessie’s Wedding Dress was epic greatness!
My mom and dad’s wedding. The nuns were such a huge part of our lives!
And the nuns always enjoyed being around all of us kids too!
But last night was different. We had a couple of reunions in the past and we always had a great time. And part of the great time was that all the uncles and aunts were there. It was always a multi-generational barrel of laughs. And instead of their presence, we felt their presence.
And this was one fun evening of seeing cousins that we grew up with and were very close to. The food that was offered was too many points for me so I opted for a liquid meal of …not one or two, but five Long Island Iced Teas! I did get hungry at one point so I just dipped my finger into butter cream frosting that was on the cake. Don’t judge.
One aunt of the nine siblings survives. My Aunt Tessie, my mother’s younger sister. She was planning on attending but her husband, my Uncle Joe suffered a stroke. He’s still physically in great shape but his personality has changed; he’s almost 90 years and they stayed behind in Florida.
Now my first cousins and I are the “elders” but I don’t feel that way, I still felt that last night, all those aunts and uncles and my parents were with us.
This is a first cousins pic from my cousin Patrick’s wedding….
And this is a “First Cousins” pic almost thirty years later last night. Notice we all have drinks in our hands. I’m wearing the beautiful Emery wig from Estetica Designs! I believe we all share the same smile!!
Families go through many changes over the years. And friends that you have may disappear from your life. But in the end, you still have family and that bond is always there and you can just pick up where you left off.
lest we not forget the inlaws–or as we refer to them–the outlaws! Why is Bonaparte posing like Napoleon?
Oh Wait! Now my Frenchman is smiling. It’s because my brother-in-law Charles is looking to him with admiration!
The bro-mance of my brother-in-law and my husband. Charles is thrilled because he FINALLY won a game of tennis with Bonaparte!
It’s too bad that all of us cousins live so far away in distance from each other. Years ago, families lived within ten minutes to an hour at most away. And I think that’s part of the reason we did have so many family gatherings. Nobody knows when the next reunion will be or if we ever will have another one.
My cousin Patty Ann who did a remarkable job in organizing this event with my sister Theresa!
My cousin Christine and son Ryan who’s studying law. This is good because you never know what trouble I’ll be in where I need a good attorney!
But the great thing is that we will all have memories of this wonderful night and I’m glad that I was able to share this event with you!
I’m enjoying a cuppa tea now in my reunion mug. I”m bringing this to the office so when I have coffee or tea I can be reminded of my family!
And for your listening pleasure–Sly and the Family Stone–Family Affair!