Monday, July 03, 2006

Back from the Wedding Extravaganza. I Now Need a Vacation from my Vacation.

Remember when I said that I was going to be out of town for a week, but I'd be around, and I'd um, blog?

Yeah, that was kind of a lie. I'm sorry. I didn't realize just how much fun I would have! I knew that there would be parties every night, but I didn't know that there were also parties every day. Pool parties. With food, alcohol, and new friends. If you could see me now, you'd be commenting on my fabulous tan.

So, Monday night, the beautiful bride Cicely had her birthday party at her house - a birthday party that may have had more attendees than my wedding. And my wedding was not sparsely attended. Somehow, most everyone leaves, and what remains is about 20 20-somethings who... decide to go skinny dipping. With wine. While Quinto and Ashley and I LAUGH with our clothes on. And bring them more alcohol. In plastic cups. Because glass + pool = bad. As we may have found out the next night. But I don't talk about things like spending all night cleaning a pool.

Early Tuesday morning, about 15 of us gather at my cousin (the groom) Ara's house to watch Brazil and Ghana face off. Water, caffeine, and bagels are served, and by the time that Ghana loses, we're all over our hangovers. And the pool party starts. (Wasn't it smart of us to have the World Cup party at the same place as the pool party?) But Ash and I decide to be productive: The bride needs lingerie.

No.  Unnecessary

We did not buy this bra, but we did massively hit Victoria's. I've never spent so much money on lingerie in so little time. It was a blast.

So, pool party, then back to the bride's for a Mexican Fiesta. With "mucho tequila." And about 200 million relatives up from Mexico who want to make us drink the tequila. To which we obviously do not object.

And. The bride wore pink shoes. I'm going to say that she did it for me, and we're not going to question it.

Cicely's Pink Shoes!!

Wednesday, the Bachelor party starts. Now, all you boys out there, please, for the love of god, do not let your Cornell and Yale educated best man organize the bachelor party. He will create an entire day - a morning of sporting competitions and an evening of drinking games. And he will divide the wedding party (and various invited others) into two teams - which will be balanced neither in name nor ability.

And did I mention that there were t-shirts?

The Best Manimals:

Best Manimals

Team Snugglebunny:

Team Snugglebunny

Which team do you think won?

And. That night is a rehearsal, a rehearsal dinner, and all that that would entail. Including breaking my camera, so let's not talk about it. Or the fact that I don't have pictures of the wedding until my sister or Ashley send me some! This is getting long, so I'm trying to hurry through. But some highlights:

I went through the buffet with the stunning Amy Grant. She said that I was pretty (!!) and that my sisters and I, who had read the prayers of the faithful during the wedding mass, had done a fabulous job. And many other things. I could tell you what she took from the buffet, and many more of her comments, but, um, I'm not sure if you all care. And I promise I'm not a stalker.

So, many Spicy Bloody Marias later, I'm back in St. Louis. I'm a little disoriented because I haven't been picked up and thrown into a swimming pool today, I haven't made new life-long friends (Seriously, the group of people brought together was so friendly, fun, attractive, and happy that I wish that I could hang out with them all the time.), and I kind of don't know what to do with myself.

Now, for the serious part. And I have to do this very matter-of-factly or I can't do it at all. My cousin Ara is the oldest of 4 children, the others being Michael, Marcia, and Christa. In 1994, just after his 7th birthday, Michael was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Niemann-Pick Type C. Shortly thereafter, Marcia, then 6, and Christa, then 3, were also diagnosed with the disorder. If you don't click on that link, I'll tell you shortly, NP-C is a cholesterol processing disease that first manifests in early childhood. It is 100% fatal. And in 1994 very little was known about it.

My family is never one to sit around and take things lightly. We're hot-tempered Italians, and get things done. Very soon, the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation was formed, using the name and fame of my cousin's grandfather, the former coach of Notre Dame Football, Ara Parseghian. And the foundation has been extremely successful. As of 2005, we had raised $22 million, of which 95% has been sent directly to research, in more than 50 laboratories around the world.

Even though we have been raising amazing amounts of money, funding worthwhile research that has not only found the gene that causes NP-C, and has made many, many advances into cholesterol processing (something that affects most people in some way), and countless other diseases, including Alzheimer's, the research has not been quick enough to help my family. Michael died March 22, 1997, Christa died October 23, 2001, and Marcia died August 6, 2005.

Obviously all of my cousins were on my mind this week. If you have some time, or are at all interested, look around at the articles that I've linked to, especially the APMRF website, and see pictures and read stories about my amazing cousins, and how much they loved their lives and their families.


Virenda said...

Okay I did the math and I am so saddened to know that your cousin were so young. That is truly horrific. I'm crying right now. I can't imagine how their mother must feel to lose 3 children so young. I have 3 children and I couldn't live life without them. I am so sorry for your family's loss. Honestly heartbreaking.

Liz said...

I'm really glad that you had fun at the wedding and that you drank like a fish and made even more fabulous friends.

And I REALLY want a team snuggle bunny shirt! (In highschool, my intramural bball team was called the pink fuzzy bunnies, and we DOMINATED... It made everyone else kinda upset because they lost to a bunch of pink fuzzy bunnies, but I digress.)

And on a serious note; you have mentioned the family and their incredible story and dedicated fundraising efforts when we've talked before, and it's every bit as touching and a great cause now as it was the first time we talked about it.

blog Portland said...

And here I thought that Arizona was just a haven for the geriatric crowd. But if there are naked pool parties, Snugglebunnies, and Amy Grant? Well then, I may retire there after all.

Oh, and I find it hard to belive that the Snugglebunny in the pic won the wet t-shirt contest... no boobs at all.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how proud I am of you for this post. We had a great week of wedding parties for a fabulous couple and also a week of memories for the three missing cousins who died way too young. Their lives filled our lives with purpose and meaning and love and laughter. Love Always, Mom
PS and the Snugglebunnies Rule!!

Airhead said...

It looks like you had a fabulous time, honey, and I had no idea your family was so steeped in ND history! How did that fact escape me? Now I'm SUPER glad I did that 5K back in the day . . . or, you know, got the t-shirt . . .

bobealia said...

This post was an emotional rollercoaster. One minute I am literally laughing outloud at the t-shirts and the next I am serious and quizing my husband on this disease I had never heard of. I'm sorry to hear about the deaths of your cousins. It seems as though your family has really worked hard to help the cause. That is amazing!
I am glad you had such a fantastic time. It sounds like a giant week-long party! Wow! Loved the pink shoes and the tees.

bobealia said...

PS- Sorry to hear about your camera too!

Kat said...

My eyes are watering after reading this post. I knew from back in Far-Far about your cousins' illness but it's still so unreal to have three children from one family pass away so young. And it's great that you're using your blog to raise awareness about the disease and the Foundation.

And, on a lighter note, I love that Amy Grant was involved! Leanne and I used to leave people karaoke voicemail messages of her songs ("Good for Me" was a big hit) back in Farley.

Ashley- BFF! said...

Well I could say so much about the family and your cousins because you know I love them all dearly. But instead I am going to keep this light, we have been through some of this stuff together…you know where I stand in my sadness.

WHERE IS THE MENTIONING OF THE DANCE PARTY?? hahaha, that was one of the best nights! I had so much fun with you and am seriously asking myself, “what the fuck am I going to do today, no open house, no celebration, no partner's in crime, no person to talk to!"



Lena said...

I just read all of your links and am crying now. I am so happy that your family could enjoy a happy occasion after all of this heavy sadness.

You portrayed this story eloquently Marcia.

Also, I totally would've rooted for Team Snugglebunny.

Tabitha Dial said...

I'm a little stunned at the moment. I am sure I met Marcia at Susan's wedding. I was so happy I got to say hello to her... Wow...

My love to all your family. And yeah, those Snugglebunnies are awesome.

markus said...

Omg! Amy Grant came to our house once when i was little (before she was famous). she wrote my sister a letter!

librarian pirate said...

Tabitha - yeah, you met Marcia at my wedding. She was a bridesmaid. I miss her ...

Marcia - Amy Grant talked to you about MEEEE????? REALLY? Because that is possibly the coolest thing ever. She is seriously the most beautiful woman that I'm not related to that I have ever met! And she said I (we) did a good job on the prayers of the faithful? EEEEEEE!!!

Ok, squeel fest over. I love you tons and tons and tons. Thank you for this post, because it's going to make me come out of haitus if just to link to it.

Kelly said...

Just clicked on all the links and I am struck at how amazingly strong your Aunt must be. I can't even imagine how hard it would be to lose one child, let alone three.
By the way:
I vote for the Manimals.

goirishkj said...

So I originally read this post at work (I read but don't write at work--I have to draw a line somewhere I suppose) and I most definitely started tearing up even though I already knew about your cousins. Seriously, your family is amazing to turn a tragedy into something beneficial.

Jo said...

marcia!!! I know that i am now the cool kid who posts a comment 3+ weeks after the original post, but I am claiming ignorance of blogger etiquette. anyway...

I am with Ash on this one-- how could you leave out the dance party?!? the bungada!? the argentinian tango?! basically an amazing time. When is that happening again?