Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Distant Relatives

Back in the mid-1990’s I chaperoned a SPdL youth trip to Orlando. Friday afternoon I left work and drove straight to the church. We left Buckhead around six in two busses, and arrived at our hotel around two in the morning. Saturday we went the day at Disney World. Sunday we toured Epcot, then boarded the busses for our return trip. When we arrived back in Atlanta early on Monday morning I drove straight to work, where I nodded off in my office in the plant.

While waiting to board the busses that Super Bowl Sunday afternoon (Troy Aikman would lead the Cowboys over the Steelers), I was sitting on a bench next to Melanie, a bubbly teenager I had been pals with for several years. As we watched the group assemble, I pointed to a young middle-schooler and said “You know Charlie? I’m related to him.”

Melanie’s face lit up in astonishment. She wheeled to face me and exclaimed “I’M related to Charlie!”   

Together we exclaimed “We’re related!” and we shared a big hug. My aunt married Charlie’s uncle. Melanie’s aunt married Charlie’s father.

Years later I was chaperoning a Living Science spring expedition to Jekyll Island. Anna spent most of the week joined at the hip with her good friend Caroline. One day they came up and Anna said that Caroline often babysat with Claire’s twins. Claire’s husband Andrew’s mother was Caroline’s aunt. I looked at Caroline and said “That makes us related!” I explained that as a sophomore in college that Claire's family had adopted me as part of a program at SPdL. Ever since then Caroline has called me Uncle Dave.

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