The Dirty Secret

Immediate Family

Originally uploaded by officergleason

I may have confessed this before, but I feel the need to do it again. For all of my professed “Irish Descent,” the basis of my family is Italian (or if my father is to be believed, Sicilian). We get together Sunday nights, eat, chat and tease each other in a style that is not northern European.

My dad was an only child, so i do not have a large irish family to compare this to. From what I remember of his cousins, aunts and uncles, the Gleason and Cody side of his family was rather dour–until the drinking started–while my mom’s family has this tendency to welcome everyone and anyone to the dinner table.

Hell, my dad’s family wanted him to be a Priest. I don’t think my mom’s family wanted her to be a nun. My mom may have contemplated it, but I think my grandfather told her no.

My mom’s family welcomed my dad with open arms. My dad’s family warmed to my mom quickly, but, my grandmother was a bit prickly. So was my aunt Margaret. While they both loved my mom, they were very protective of my dad.

When the photographer at my brother’s wedding said, “the immediate Gleason family,” we knew he meant the two of us and our parents. That’s what he meant when he called for Jackie’s parents. Tony and I do not, by default, think of the immediate family as just us. We think of this picture as our immediate family.

I’ve been out of town every Sunday for the past month, and I have missed my family something terrible. After seeing them again, I figured out that for all my Irish bluster, my family is still very Italian.

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