What a Weekend! Love My Howertons!

In June, John's cousin Maria and I began talking about our desire to get the extended Howerton family together for a reunion. It had been many years since all the aunts, uncles and cousins had seen each other. So we chose a weekend we hoped would work for most and created an event page on Facebook to see how many were interested. As it turned out, we selected the very weekend that our nephew Harris Jr. was getting married. So it was perfect for those who were coming from a distance. Wedding Saturday, reunion Sunday.

I didn't even have a sore shoulder when we first started planning this. And I had no idea what shape I would be in by November. But after being in constant pain for weeks, I was feeling a bit weepy and depressed. I had looked forward to this weekend so much and now it seemed that I might not be able to enjoy it at all (which was also depressing). John was worried about me and asked if I thought I was up to the trip. He assured me everyone would understand if we couldn't make it. But I told him there was no way I was going to miss the wedding OR the reunion. It was too important to me. Besides, it was not like I would feel any better if I stayed home. If anything, I would feel worse.

Finally, a good friend (and RN) gave me a major pep talk on Facebook about the necessity of taking my pain medication regularly. She assertively urged me to take it on a schedule so I could get ahead of the pain (instead of sparingly, as I was foolishly trying to take it) and explained to me that the emotional stress of chronic pain was adding to the inflammation in my shoulder and making the pain worse. Everything she said made sense. And I was feeling pretty desperate. So on Friday I took her advice and started taking pain meds every 5-6 hours, in addition to  a short course of low dose prednisone I had started Tuesday, plus increasing my anti-inflammatory to twice a day. All of that worked and, as you can see from the pictures, I was comfortable enough to thoroughly enjoy the big weekend. (Today I have had a little more pain again. Probably because I'm at the weaning off point in my prednisone and maybe a little from so much hugging! But it is still manageable and under control.)

I'm so glad I was able to be in Evansville this weekend. I love John's family. From the first introduction, I have always felt so at home with all of them. And I love, love, love all of my Howerton nieces and nephews so much.

Every family on Earth has its dysfunction, its relational issues and problems. And the Howertons are no exception. But there is always love, camaraderie and so much laughter when we're together. This is a family that loves to clown around, laugh, imitate, and make faces endlessly. And I always enjoy their company. There are no hoops to jump through. No molds to fit into. They make me feel like they wouldn't change a thing about me even if they could. But the truth is, they are a loud and lively crowd where I fit in perfectly and effortlessly just the way I am. And that makes me feel so at ease. 

I have over a hundred pictures from this weekend and I posted all of them on Facebook. But I wanted to publish a few of my favorites here, along with my reflections on the weekend and being a part of this fun family.

This is the happy couple (Harris Jr. and Bridgette) with Harris Sr. and Connie...

Marian and Bridgette...

Lu Anne, Ashleigh, Taylor and Jeff (John's brother)...

John and Me with nephew Robb and niece Phoebe (Lillian's son and daughter)...

The brothers carrying on the tradition of trying to be the tallest in the picture by standing on tip-toe (all except Rob who just stands there and IS the tallest brother!)...

My husband and the amazing woman who raised all of these boys. I tell her I will be forever in her debt for bringing my prince charming into the world!

Robb, Marian (Jeff in the background), Phoebe and Me...

John and Robb...

Phoebe and "Oma" (Grandma in German)...

Annie, Mike, Phoebe and Maria...

The artists, Maria and Robb...

Darling Phoebe and Me in mid-conversation...

Marian and Aunt Margaret (John's late father's sister)...


John and Me with Cousin Maria...

Taylor, Marian, Me, Maria, John, Jeff, Rob...

Uncle/Dr. Vic and Aunt Margaret Viray with daughters Annie and Maria...

My oldest nephew Robb, whom I adore...

Beautiful niece, Taylor with her dad Jeff...

A great picture of Jeff and Rob...

John and Uncle Vic...

My oh-so-vibrant and adorable niece, Ashleigh (with new hair color)...

Cute group pic...

Cousin Annie and me...

The guys as we were leaving (John, Mike, Jeff and Rob)...

One of our many group photographs...

A few of us were missing from this gathering and hopefully we will be able to schedule another one before too much time passes. For those of us who were able to make it, the day was memorable! And I feel like I've known my new cousins-in-law all my life!

Comments

Kathy said…
I wish all of my patients were as receptive and compliant! So glad you are feeling better and wearing your beautiful smile. Love yah
kim said…
I forgot about their attempts to always be the tallest. Thanks for reminding me. Lol.

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