Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Importance of Family - A Tribute

This morning I was reminded that even when you're expecting something, it can still surprise you. My uncle, David, passed away. I knew the end was near but it is still that shock of confirmation, of finality. My father, Tom, is the oldest and two years later my Uncle Timmy was born. My dad was nine years old when David was born and eleven when the youngest, Stephen was born. Dad used to tease Uncle David that he owned him because one time when David was a toddler, my grandmother got really frustrated with him and said she would sell him for a nickel. My dad took her seriously and promptly gave his mom the nickel to keep his brother. 
David, Timmy, Tommy, Stephen (in front)
My four boys grew up with Uncle David's girls being more like first cousins because he had children in his thirties and I had my children in my twenties and he was only 15 years older than me. David and his wife, Anne, started a cross-country ski center and farm stand in Oxford, Maine and later a ski center in Bethel, next to the Carter family farm. We had many family gatherings in the lodges, Christmas parties with the funniest Yankee swaps, cookouts, and gatherings with our Canadian Carter cousins. Uncle David was able to be at the Bethel lodge for the past few weeks and even skied as much as he could this winter with his family. I feel lucky to have grown up with a strong sense of extended family and I hope I've passed that on to my children. I hope that sense of family and a larger connected support network and heritage helps my cousins through this difficult time. Family - you can't choose your family, you may fuss and fight at times, but in the end you've got to stick together because you have unique memories and strengths.
David Carter in 1969
My grandmother, Uncle David, my mom, Aunt Jodi (Timmy's wife)
This was a fashion show and all clothing came from the Carter family ancestors.
Nothing can compare to this blog post by David's daughter, Emily, an incredibly talented photographer but here are a few of my pictures of memorable times together. 
Tommy, Timmy, Stephen, David around Grampa at the Bethel Ski Lodge
My sons, Steve & Josh flank Great-Aunt Becky & Uncle David

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