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    #1

    served as an excuse for

    The core of Pop's happiness was his family. Almost any event served as an excuse for a reunion with all our uncle and aunts and cousins. Such laughter and jokes and sheer loving exuberance -- and all sparked by mother and father.

    Could anyone explain the highlighted words?

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    #2

    Re: served as an excuse for

    1 A small event could be used as a reason for a reunion
    2 Loving in an outgoing energetic way

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