Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dear Dutchie

Dear Dutchie,

It seems like a short while ago that you lost your battle with cancer. You were the “Auntie Mame” the “Martin Matriarch”. Each time the family gathered you made sure every second was filled with fun and excitement.

Although I am one of the “outlaws” of the family I have been a part of the Martins for forty years. We traveled to Washington for many reunions from Jersey, Ohio and even Florida. Trust me we carried on in Martin tradition.

You would have been so proud of Cap & Kenny’s branch this year as they tried to organize a gathering to rally and make new memories for a new generation. I felt your presence and know you were with us.

Darcy channeled you when she argued with the front desk with their unacceptable service.

I saw Kelly gather up the kids and fly kites on the beach, something you would have done.

Chuck took the kids to the water slides and played with them in the pool for hours. He fed an alligator chicken to the delight of the kids.

Deanna was the official swim teacher, and family photographer. Her smile was contagious.

Darcy and Kelly sang Karaoke as the family whooped and cheered.

Annie, Patti, Joanie, Kelly, Kara were a great audience reminiscing and laughing at the kids antics.

Fred was “Doctor Fred” diagnosing and giving advice in the pool. Dan said that was his new handle. He finally got rid of the nickname “Feet”.

Even the “outlaws” John Mark and Paul spent some bonding time on golf course.

The littlest “cousins” were all BFF’s and eager each day to see each other. The big kids made memories with the little ones. Annie went on the never ending ride with Ellerie, while Brayden and Aiden braved a roller coaster with a cheering crowd and Fred took Abbie on her first big Ferris Wheel.

We went to nice restaurants, tried new foods, and listened to music. We played Martin trivia with the old cards, updated questions, and added a few new ones from new memories. But most of all we promised to try to get together again and make sure those who could not come this time would want to come the next gathering.

We love and miss you Dutchie. Thank you for teaching us the importance of family.

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