A bittersweet reunion

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It was a bittersweet day as we celebrated family without my beloved Stu.
It was a bittersweet day as we celebrated family without my beloved Stu.

It was a spectacularly beautiful weekend, but a bittersweet one for me. It was the annual gathering of the Yunis family at the home of Mimi and Jim Broner in Kent, Connecticut. But my beloved Stu was not there and was sorely missed by all.

His son Jon came from Sarasota, Florida with his son Josh and beautiful 20-month-old daughter Jillian and her mom.

Stu’s other son Harvey came from Houston, Texas with his two adult children, Judith and Jacob. The New York contingent was also there, with Eve and Roy and her two boys, Lou and Joe from Douglas Manor in Queens and Mimi living in Manhattan with her three “big boys,” as my Jonah calls them, Ben, Zac and Sam. Then there were my children, Samantha and Elizabeth, with their children, Blake and Morgan and Jonah and Addison. What a gathering — not easy to achieve so I bought Yunis family reunion T-shirts for our memorable group photo. But I was disappointed that my son Josh, wife Tracey and precious Hudson couldn’t join us.

As we gathered for lunch on Saturday, Harvey made martinis, Stu’s favorite drink, for all of us. We toasted to Stu’s memory with tears in our eyes. It’s still so hard to believe he’s not here.

The annual gathering is always an eating marathon thanks to Mimi’s preparations and “professional” party planning. One night was a memorable shore dinner bought in by two fisherman who had caught our meal that morning.

Her husband Jim is the activity planner. For this weekend he created a relay race and got four-year-old Jonah to start it by singing the “ABCs,” with the kickoff at “Z.”
And we were off!

Each team had to run up the long driveway and pass the baton to the next teammate, who had to run to the basketball court, then to the next, who had to do 25 push-ups and then pass the baton to the next runner, who had to carry five pieces of wood to the next teammate, who had to carry a hard boiled egg to the next person, who had to swim the length of the pool three times and pass it to me, the final leg, where we as a team had to put together a puzzle. And yes, we won! The prize for all was a delicious, plentiful barbecue. What a way to end a picture-perfect weekend!