As I’ve mentioned before, I am a mutt. What I mean by this is that I come from mixed stock. Today I will be focusing on my father’s side of the family. This is the side of the family that hails from Haiti.
My father’s side of the family is very large. Here is a little tidbit to give you an idea of how large it is. Not too long ago my grandmother was discussing my future wedding with my girlfriend (that is all my grandmother ever talks about). She made a comment to my girl that we should have a small wedding. My girl was ecstatic, because she really wants to have a small wedding. The smile was quickly wiped off her face when my grandmother added, “Small wedding, family only. Keep it to like 250 or 300 people!” Get the picture now?
Let me introduce you to the key players.
My Haitian family is very much a matriarchy. My grandmother’s generation is full of strong, dynamic women. My grandmother was one of nine siblings, eight of whom were female. Each and every one of the ladies you see in this picture had an active hand in raising me (and I do mean an “active hand”). When I was younger I would go to my grandmother’s house nearly every day after school. They would feed me, make sure I did my homework, and prevent me from killing my little brother. Also, each Sunday was like a little mini-family reunion. I would see all of the grand-aunts pictured here and a cast of many more. I miss those days.
The next generation continued with the female dominance. My father has four sisters and no brothers. Most of his first cousins are also female. My aunts were all spread apart when I was young. One lived in Haiti (Tati Gagi), one lived in Miami (Tati Beanie), and two in New York (Tati Nani and Tati Gizou who is not pictured above. Sorry Tati Gizou. I’ll get you later.). Still wherever they were, I always felt just as close to all of them. They would spend summers and the ocassional christmas up here and we would pick up right where we left off every time I got to see them. I was treated completely as one of their children.
Speaking of the children, there we are. We were all raised as if we were brothers and sisters, despite the distance that separated us most times. These days, as we’ve all gotten older, things are not quite the same as they used to be, but the love is still there. This picture was taken in Haiti circa 1992. I was in Haiti for almost the whole summer that year. We had so much fun! The only cousin not to be pictured here is my cousin Adam. He was born a short while later. Here is a pic of him in a ridiculous Santa outfit to make up for it.