We went to the funeral of a family matriarch on the weekend. She was 97 when she died suddenly, having been totally healthy and mobile before that. I mean, when it's time to go, it's time to go! She was part of a huge family, and had a huge family descended from her. The side I married was from one of her many sisters, but they had close ties because they were part of a huge mob of cousins that hung around together, mainly through the efforts of this one woman.
The descendants from the other sisters were as boring as milk toast, but her line was worthy of one of those super-thick novels from Danielle Steele, or some such author. They had absolutely everything! Our side of the family had a magnificent time catching up with everybody at the reception, then we spent hours over drinks trying to make sense of it all.
It gives true meaning to the word 'family'. A rich and colourful tapestry of family history adds depth to your life. I'm glad to stand aside and be part of it in a distant sort of way. I just pray that none of my future family history starts to resemble this, or it would kill me!