Jerry’s Family

This is where it all began–Mom and Dad (Jerry’s parents). They have been married 48 years. And this smooch was captured last Thanksgiving at our home.

Mom Mom (Jerry’s mom) makes lasagna that the entire family drools over, and Grand Sire (Jerry’s dad) always has a story to tell, or wisdom to relay. Mom Mom is also known for the best deviled eggs ever made!

Together they raised 11, yes that’s 11, beautiful, bright, successful children. Jerry is number five. He has four sisters and six brothers. Eight of his siblings are married, two are not married, and one of his brothers is a priest. Between all of the siblings we have twelve nieces and nephews–each of whom we absolutely adore. And oh my goodness do the kids have a blast rabble rousing at every family gathering–it’s fun just to watch them! This picture is Grand Sire with our newest niece.

The family comes together for all of the major holidays (Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) and many other times throughout the year. As first it can be a bit  tough to get used to–so much family–yet before long it’s unavoidable what a gift time together truly is.

There is food, always lots of good food, stories and laughter–so much laughter–dancing, and no Fourth of July would be complete without a wiffle ball game, during which Mom Mom (Jerry’s mom) always participates.

Here is a shot of her playing basketball. Yes she’s a pretty incredible woman, I suppose she would have to be to raise 11 children!

Jerry was raised with strong family values–family always comes  first–and he seeks in life to share the love, warmth, and generosity with which he was raised with all whom he invites into his time and space .

As Catholics, Jerry’s family also lives each day with a strong belief in and devotion to God. We are blessed to have a priest in the family (Jerry’s brother) who has married, baptized, and blessed many of us, and our homes. And though Lutheran, I savor our shared spirituality.

Being part of such a large family isn’t always easy, yet it is always a blessing. Jerry and his siblings often spend family get-togethers reminiscing about all of the years gone by, and watching the next generation of the family grow together, some as truly best buddies.

Those of us who have married into the family (“The Wives Club” as my sister-in-law calls us) genuinely love having each other as sisters. Along with Jerry’s sisters we share laughter, often in the kitchen, and stories that only each other could possibly understand. We have so much fun together!
Thanks to the beauty of marriage and siblings we now have a family member who is from Brazil, two others from Jamaica, a professional photographer, a professional portrait painter, a talented graphic artist, a pharmacist, and the list goes on and on. As you can imagine, there is never a dull moment, nor a lack of conversation.
Together, no matter what, we are all, every single one of us, better for having each other in our lives. And now, our family cannot wait to welcome the newest tiny member who will become our child. There are 12 children all lined up to teach him or her the secret to winning at wiffle ball, and when to check the food table for the desserts. And there are 18 aunts and uncles ready to cuddle, coo, play, and guide. Finally, Mom Mom and Grand Sire can’t wait to celebrate another member of this ever-growing family.
Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. 
~Jane Howard

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