Friday, September 12, 2008

What I Said

Back in the day Auntie Blanche didn’t hold recitals, she held “piano parties” at the end of each semester in her apartment on High Street. Everyone in attendance had to learn a little music theory and perform their chosen piece before even one cookie or one tiny m&m could be consumed. Worst stage fright ever.

Until today.

This is a pretty big piano party. In that spirit I’d like to ask everyone, at some point today when we’re finished here with this part, to share a story about Auntie Blanche. You can share it with someone you know or someone you don’t know or you can go to the guest book that’s set up online or you can write it on a postcard or any other way you like but please share something and here’s why.

For Auntie Banche’s 85th birthday a group of about twenty of us went to Newick’s for lunch. We had balloons and cake and candles and a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday in a minimum of two part harmony. We drew a little attention is what I’m saying. After she blew out the candles Auntie Blanche said, “Look at all those people looking at us. I bet not one of them guesses that no one here is related to me.”

No one here is either.

If we were, if we were a “regular” family, whatever that might be, then we would tell our stories at birthdays and Thanksgivings and Labor Day cookouts. The stories would be handed down in a fairly linear fashion with the same missteps and embellishments at every re-telling. Here, though, with this family, we are less a line and more an enormous starburst. We’ll leave here today and take our stories in a hundred different directions. You may take something away that only you know and we will each certainly leave without knowing a dozen more stories that are in this room right now.

So, please give someone one of your stories, it doesn’t have to be a big one, and that way we will each leave this place with a tiny bit more to carry on our trajectory.


  1. Anonymous12:09 AM


  2. WOW. I love not only your point, but how you got there.

  3. Anonymous1:54 PM

    Wonderful! I especially like the use of the word "starburst." How'd the singing go? Was there a dry eye in the place?

    BTW, what was Auntie Blanche's story between high school and college?

  4. This is gorgeous. I'm crying.

    Godspeed, Auntie Blanche.

  5. Anonymous11:57 PM

    Kizz, it IS about the family of choice. We all are starbursts. The unfortunates don't know that. Aunt Blanche knew that from the get go and that was her message. The heart that gives, gathers...that what we say in my family. I think it suits you as well.

    The photos of your Aunt with the visiting dog were priceless. Thanks for letting us view your heart.
    Go, Aunt Blanche and Kizz, you've been a great Grandaughter?daughter/friend. As much as you loved her, she loved you back.

  6. I'll write more about her soon, when I can manage it, to answer some of your questions. Her story between HS and college is complex and I don't want to forget what I know.