Too often we lack the support system family provides, so we, being the innovative lot that we are, make up our own families. Abandoned by fathers, shunned by mothers, ostracized by siblings, too often we find ourselves on the outside of the conventional family unit.
This weekend, at a graduation barbecue, I realized the value of my extended family. Not only can they throw down in the kitchen, they keep the spirits high.
The first family consists of Fe Fe, Mallory, Kenny, Ray, White Lady, Timmy, Deanne, Douglas, Geri, and Lil Bit.
These men are, in many ways, my extended family. I have eight uncles (Fe Fe, Kenny, Ray, White Lady, Timmy, Gatsby, Deanne, and Mallory) and one first cousin (Douglas).
This family is large, granted, but they each teach some important lessons.
With numerous vices (the members of the first family are prone to overindulge- in drink, in food, in fashion, in pecs, and in sex), these men represent some of the best success stories I have encountered in same gender loving individuals. These uncles of mine read with the best of them, and drink like few others, but they are always there when a member of the family is in need. They are supportive and generous and truly irreplaceable.