Christmas time becomes especially meaningful and joyful when we have a chance to spend with families and friends.
Today J.J. and I had a wonderful time getting together with one of his aunts' family in Southern California. There were five of her grown children, ( J.J.'s first cousins) their spouses, grandchildren and friends.
One of J.J.'s sisters and her daughter were also able to join. The event was 30 plus years reunion for some and establishing new relationships with others.
I greeted and were able to chat with at least a half of the 30 or so guests. Among them were Cousin Cory and her childhood friend, Willie.
Cousin Gadu flew in from Sydney, Australia with his wife. Here he is with Willie.
Cousin Gadu was too shy to have us sing him "Happy Birthday," but there were several distinctive and delicious cakes to celebrate his birthday.
Marie-Reine, daughter of Cousin Nonny was an impressive young lady. She is a theater producer focusing on Asian American theater in Los Angeles. Bright, energetic and good-hearted young woman, she told me that she has been involved in theater and performing arts for 12 years. When I asked her why she likes theater, she told me, "I do theater to give a voice to people who don't feel they have one."
Marie-Reine and Anna
Fabulous home-cooked dishes were the main stars of the evening.
What a blessing it is to belong to a large extended family whose younger generation kept on calling me "Tita Cathi" (Auntie Cathi) and gave me kisses but half of the time I had no idea who they are or to whom they belong to.
"Ohana means family. No one gets left behind, and no one is ever forgotten."
Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlpis, Lilo & Stitch, Disney Movie
Aloha -- Cathi