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5 posts tagged family

Annual weekend of utter silliness is here

I’m in upstate NY for the annual Zandt-Mänzke Family Reunion, so things are bound to unravel here online at various points throughout the weekend. Like say, how we found my cousin Alyson’s phone in our car last year, and kept it overnight. Oh look, she’s still logged into Facebook, I said.

Muwahahahaha, we all said in unison right after.

Friday night:


(caption: Check out my sweet new ink!!)



(caption: If you can’t trust your own family, who can you trust? In other news, this belly button ring was free with my new tattoo!!)

Saturday morning:

RIP Anna June, my grandma, 1924 - 2012. Memories, a message and a messenger

"Death is not a mistake, nor a failure, nor a punishment—it is a violent revolution contesting spirit and body. It proves that change is the natural order of things." — Janet Cyril, Malkia Cyril’s mom

After being diagnosed with terminal cancer five months ago, my grandmother, my mother’s mother, passed away early this morning. I’m named after her— she’s Anna June, and I’m Deanna June. Our matrilineage is one that is fierce and I’m heartbroken to lose her. 

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"Say your prayers, and keep your legs crossed." — RIP Louise Kane, 1915 - 2011


Louise with my mom at the Zandt Family Reunion, maybe 10-15 years ago

[UPDATED below with a pic and short story from my brother]

This morning, my neighbor from growing up, Louise Kane, passed away. It feels weird to even type her name out — my brother and I called her “Mrs. Kane” well after we were already adults. She’d say, “Call me ‘Louise!’ God!” But we just couldn’t.

I want to share some stories about her as I begin the sort of “official” grieving process. She’d been declining for a while — she was due to turn 96 in two weeks — but the loss is deeply painful. I can’t do the whole picture of her justice, but let me start by explaining that she was one of the most influential bad-ass women of my life, along with my mom and my grandmother (mom’s mother). I gave Izzy her middle name, Louise, in honor of her.

A strict Irish-Catholic, Mrs. Kane used to call my Lutheran family “broken-away Catholics,” and married a Jewish man twenty years older than her. We never got to meet Louie (yes, they were “Louie and Louise”) — he died the year before my parents moved in next door to her — but his spirit was always very much part of her. 

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Astronomy humor with Pop

When I was in third grade, my teacher launched the gifted & talented program at my school, and one of the first sections was an astronomy program. Surprisingly enough, the smallish town I grew up in had a great observatory, and we studied loads of cool stuff there for a few weeks.

Because it was a bit of a hike from where we lived, my dad would wait and hang out while we did our thing. Our instructor was Dr. Jay Sarton, and Pop told me this morning he said to him once, “You’ve studied, and gone through all this training, and you’ve got a doctorate and all, but you still gotta work nights?”





Stealing a page from my cousin Lizziebelle— happy birthday, Uncle Charlie. He would have been 84 or 85 today.
This is one of my favorite photos… my uncle Ed on the left, my grandfather in the middle, and Uncle Charlie on the right. These are Pop’s brothers and father. I didn’t know my grandpa well, but I miss my two uncles so much, it feels like my chest is going to crack open sometimes.

Stealing a page from my cousin Lizziebelle— happy birthday, Uncle Charlie. He would have been 84 or 85 today.

This is one of my favorite photos… my uncle Ed on the left, my grandfather in the middle, and Uncle Charlie on the right. These are Pop’s brothers and father. I didn’t know my grandpa well, but I miss my two uncles so much, it feels like my chest is going to crack open sometimes.