11 April 2006

Time to Meet the Family: II

When last we met, we were reuniting my family. We had met my brother, four cousins, and two aunts. The reuniting was fun, but we were soon hungry. Aunt Marion took us to the greatest buffet off the strip: the Golden Corral. I think going to a buffet was a genius idea. I showed my appreciation by eating until I was close to vomiting. Delicious.

Now to the rest of my family. That's my grandma in the middle with the gray hair. To the left of Grandma Mary Lou, is my cousin Jerry Jr., then my brother, Derek Jr., cousin Jordan, cousin Ray, and my cousin Charmaine.

Charmaine has quite the story. Two years ago she was in a really bad car accident. She was in a coma for months and the doctors said she would be in a vegetative state for the rest of her life. As you can see, doctors are liars. She's not the same: her speech, memory, and walking are all worse. But she's alive, she recognizes all of us, and we're really happy about that.

My little grandma now has three great grandchildren. I know, it's unbelievable. There's Dayana (9 months) and her older brother Jahkheim (4). He's the one with the big smile. Their mother is my cousin Tonekia. She couldn't come because she's spending some quality time with the state of Georgia. Then there's Gabe (2). Gabe is Junior's son. Junior. Is my oldest cousin.

After we ate, we went for a drive. This is Dayana in the car, happily breaking the law outside of her car seat. We were supposed to be meeting the mother of my second cousin to come. But the mission was deliberately sabotaged. We ended up back at the hotel for more monopoly. It started with Derek getting Boardwalk and Park Place right away. Meanwhile I was sent to jail three or four consecutive times without passing go. I ended up being pulled away from the game by my Aunt Mary Ann. I ruined (or so I was told) but my chances of winning were slim anyway.

On Friday, my crew was the last one ready. For my mother, that's unheard of. She's always first but on that day, much of the group showered the night before or didn't shower at all. Here are my Aunts Shelia and Marion waiting for us. So my mother didn't mind that we were last, because we were clean. We had missed breakfast and were waiting for the Golden Corral to open for lunch. So it was prime time for pictures.

And again, I high recommend the Golden Corral. The Iced Tea was sweetened, which is something I miss.

Here are Ray & Dayana. Don't ask me how Ray got her to give the same smile. The next picture is Aunt Shelia with Jerry Jr., Ray, and Jordan. That's followed by a picture of just Ray (I told you she liked to pose), Jordan, Gabe, and Jahkheim.

Jordan is wearing Jeans with boots on them. The boots have laces that were just hanging there. Three dimensional clothes are all the rage you know. Gabe started pulling on the laces. Jordan asked him what he was doing and Gabe said "I'm tying your shoes." Does it get any cuter? Nope.

As you can tell by the size of our press corps, Some are more photogenic than others. So I'll do my best to make sure everyone gets included. On the left side of this picture is my Aunt Mary Ann. At this point I don't remember if you've ever seen her before. But if you have, there she is again. Next to her is Charmaine, Vicki, my mother (Adrean), and Derek holding Dayana.

As you can see, we don't need a reason to take pictures. This group is happy to take pictures. We're all smiles. Grandma is a tougher cookie. But she's got plenty of jokes. A word to the wise: she keeps an iron bar under the front seat in her car and she is not afraid to use it. In fact, I think she's looking for a fight. She said to my mother: "I need to pray harder."

Yikes. I have a lot more pictures and not a whole lot left to say. So until next time.

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