This weekend, I spent three days with my closest thirty-one relatives.
Cousins, siblings, aunts, and uncles gathered to celebrate my Grandma Ruby's 70th Birthday.
We congregated around eight round tables in one banquet hall.
We consumed nearly sixty chicken breasts and dined on seven cheesecakes drizzled with caramel sauce.
We played one game (which took forty minutes).
We listened to several tributes (during which a dozen people cried).
We relived countless memories and reveled* in the one we were creating in the moment.
We prayed. Four times.
My aunt clanked her fork against her glass five times to quiet us down.
My grandma modeled down the imaginary runway once, showing off her green pants suit, worn in honor of her St. Patrick's Day Birthday.
We watched my two cousins, Jaylen and Naya, perform a magic show. Four times. (The fourth time was for YouTube.)
We argued. About dogs, about love, and about loving dogs.
We laughed 'til we bent over in laughter.
It was a once in a lifetime gathering.