“The Best Times Are Always Found When Friends and Family Gather Round.”
Last Sunday our little family hopped in the car and made our way to Northbridge, Mass to finally meet up with one of the mister’s cousins and his wife. Neither one of us knew what to expect from this meeting, so there was some apprehension in making the hour’s drive to the unknown, but as soon as we rang the doorbell and were greeted by a warm and beautiful Maria, all guarded feelings and reservations were quickly set aside. She embraced us with the most welcoming hug and smile that we couldn’t help but fall in love with her. Standing nearby was Paul (Mark’s maternal cousin), a big bear of guy with a smile almost as big as he is tall.
After our introductions, we were led into their lovely home and showered with a kindness that is sometimes rare to us, at least where family is concerned. And while the men brought out family photos from the past and shared stories about their kin, Maria, (a beautiful Ecuadorian) and I quickly bonded as if we’d known each other all of our lives. There’s something about two Latinas who are drawn to each other’s similarities when they find themselves in the midst of a different culture, a culture we love, of course, but different nonetheless.
After we all exchanged similar stories and experiences about our lives, we decided on sharing a meal before making our way back home. During our conversation at dinner, Maria shared how they were as nervous about meeting us as we were about meeting them. We laughed at how in some ways it was almost a “first date” of sorts. You know those dates where you aren’t sure if it’ll be a good experience so you meet up for coffee and wait to see how it goes? If it’s not so great, then you can quickly dash out. If it goes well, then you share a meal? What, you’ve never had that experience before? 😀 In the case of this “first date,” it went really well. So well, in fact, that we quickly promised to cook a meal together the next time we meet up. Now that is a good date!
And all too soon, it was time to say our goodbyes. While we did so with a weight in our hearts, we also felt a sense of happiness in our soul at the thought of a future with new leaves firmly attached to our ever growing familial tree. Aren’t the ties that bind us together a bit funny sometimes? I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
Until next time…I hope you are having a wonderful close to the weekend wherever you may be! I hope that wherever you are, you’re with people that make your soul sing.