Friday, May 14, 2010

Irish Gathering

Thanks to the arrival of the Melletts from Ireland;
my cousin J from New Jersey planned a family
to welcome and share hospitality with our visiting cousins.

The event took place at a quaint eatery, the Old Irish Ale Pub located in Dedham, MA.

It was a lovely event with members from each branch of the American Mellett family tree. In the above photo you can see my Uncle Paul top left, Uncle Jim (cousin J's dad), Uncle Bob, my Mum Joan Mellett Dillon in the middle, Aunt May, and then in front Aunt Kathleen followed by my Dad Robert Dillon. Not pictured here is my Aunt Barbara who had passed away prior to my Mum's 50th b-day party.

Anyway, I ventured into the city by myself. Fortunately for Christmas I received a Tom Tom gps for the car so I easily found my destination. I arrived about 15 minutes. I was happy to see my cousins from Vermont who adopted Dad's Fluffy.

Relatives traveled from Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts to attend this festive occasion.

Perhaps one of the most striking conversations I had throughout the evening was with one of my cousins about the tendency in our family for a reluctance to move out of our comfort zones and come out join in various festivities. I spoke of how my mother had that same tendency. It was very difficult at times for her to go out. Agoraphobia, claustrophobia, anxiety and hodophobia (fear of driving) were some of the afflictions that plagued her throughout her life. One comment my cousin made that really stuck with me was that his brother "keeps his world very small". I thought this a very telling statement. Later in the evening as I spoke with another cousin were talking about our siblings and how difficult it was to get them to participate. It's so interesting that the "small world" phenomenon seems to be spread throughout all the branches of our family. I wonder what it means.

The following is my favorite photo of the evening. My Uncle Paul is the final surviving sibling of my Mum's family of origin. When I look into his eyes I see my mother. His eyes are her eyes.

While it was enjoyable to see everyone and connect with cousins whom I have not seen in many, many years; I left feeling a bit overwhelmed with the emotions that come with the realization that you are the 'matriarch' of your own branch of the family tree. There was definitely a sense of disconnection and loss for me at the end of the night that goes back to my childhood and perhaps stems from being the youngest of the first cousins, having a geographical distance between me and all of my cousins and an internal sense of not ever having fit in with the second cousins. I'm working on all of this and hopefully will sort it out and fix it in my own mind. It was a long tear filled ride home.


No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails