Today, our family, (23 of us), gathered at our favorite Portuguese restaurant in Newark, NJ, Tony Da Caneca’s.  It seems to be one of our “go to places” when we gather for a big celebration.   I have been going there with my family since I was little.  We were celebrating my Uncle Bucky’s 65th birthday.  It is always such fun to meet up with my cousins.  We live less than ten miles of each other, but with everyone’s crazy, hectic schedules, it is hard to fine the time to get together.  We have always been close, and our spouses all get along too.  Our kids play so well together, despite the age difference.  DJ is the oldest, at 16 and Harper is the youngest at 2 1/2.  With my kids, my sister’s kids and the cousins, there were six of them there tonight.  We always get seated in a room off to the side, because with our big Italian family, there is no chance of us being quiet!!

The last time we all got together was just about two weeks ago when we met to have dinner in memory of my mom on what would have been her 68th birthday.  We felt lucky to have been able get together again so close to the last time. Each time we get together, we wonder why we wait so long in between visits.  We enjoy each others company so much.  We laugh and we reminisce and we joke and tease.  Now, we have to look forward to the next birthday…we have one coming up in August, when my niece turns 11… for another opportunity to see each other.

What we really need to do, is to make it a point to NOT wait for a holiday or a birthday to come along, but to make an effort to get together just because we can.  It is hard with work and commitments, but it is totally worth it!

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