My mother is the last of her generation, her brothers having gone to their reward many years ago, now. She has become the Matriarch of that clan, the last of the elder Pierces, and as such, my many cousins and second cousins and first cousins once removed look forward to the rare occasions where we all get together.
Which is what we did last night.
My cousin Jan and her husband Joe had Christmas Eve, as they do every year. While there, with them in their home, I thought of family, and how much family means to me - how much it seems to grow in meaning, to me, as I get older. In fact, how much human relationships mean, period.
I have a family out here, now. On the Internet. And this family means a great deal to me. I had a chance, last night, to wish my family a "Merry Christmas" in person. I got to hug and hold them close to me, the one thing I can't do with most of you. But I wish I could. There's something about a good hug that says ... something ... something you cannot say in words.
Merry Christmas. All of you. And HUG. BIG HUG.