By Wendy Sobeck
I come from a very large Polish-American family. My maternal grandparents, Sylvester and Lucille, had 16 children, and my mom, Diane, was the fourth eldest. There are 32 of us cousins to date.
Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays—and pretty much any given Sunday—were never hum-drum little gatherings. They were usually epic family “dramadies,” special occasions I’m certain not even Hollywood could dream up! But, to us, the madness of our humongous family was just normal.
Many family holidays throughout my life have been unforgettable, but Thanksgiving 2001 was especially memorable and bittersweet.
We had lost my Grandma Lucy suddenly to liver cancer in June of that year, and our enormous clan was devasted. As our family matriarch, she was the central force that kept the chaos of our beautifully crazy tribe together.