My uncle suffered a stroke earlier this week. The prospect isn’t good. He’s currently in the ICU of the same hospital where my pregnant niece is on bed rest because she started having preterm labor at 33 weeks.

I realize that’s kind of personal information. But, it’s my family. These are just two members of this truly massive group of people that are hilarious and ridiculous and smart and infuriating and generous and fierce and I love every one of them so much I feel like my chest is going to burst open. They have seen me at some of my best and worst moments — through childhood and adolescence and marriage and parenting and now the beginning of aging. And I’ve seen them through those things as well. And it’s hard and beautiful to watch. And I have feelings about how some of them have approached different aspects of their lives. And I know they have feelings about my approach to life too.

And I think about our family gatherings compared to the Weston family gathering in “August: Osage County,” and I realize I’m unbelievably lucky. It didn’t happen in a moment or even out loud, but we made a set of agreements as a family that makes it possible for us to be with each other.

We don’t say things purposely to hurt or expose each other. We do what we can to support each other’s decisions, even if we don’t agree with them. We steer away from painful or loaded topics. And sometimes, we lie.
And the little lies and the little omissions keep us together and keep us moving forward and keep us loving each other.
The Westons…are a different story.