“Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”David Ogden Stiers
My friend Connie told me a great family story where they went picnicking at Murray Park in Porterville with friends, eight children, (I think – fourteen maybe – big numbers overwhelm me). They left and had gone no more than five minutes before someone counted and the five-year-old was missing. They drove back to the park and found her sitting alone on a hill crying and sucking her thumb.
As the first of two children born into our extended family in twenty-five years, I never went anywhere as a preschooler without holding at least one adult hand.
“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”George Burns
In spite of the fact that Randy and I were only two years apart in age, we were never together until I had to stay home to stay home and attend kindergarten. We had grandparents and great-grandparents and they took turns passing us around. But nobody wanted both of us – at the same time, even our parents. They were all used to only children. (My parents and one grandmother were only children.) So we went different places or one of us stayed home. (I rarely stayed home).
I remember Grandma Golda, tired after two days with a preschooler, driving me to her mother’s house, not my mother’s house!
“The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.”George Carlin
When we were teens and hung out in a group of about six to eight kids. Mom had restaurant rules.
“No talking about bloody operations, body parts, sex or other bodily functions at the table or in the restaurant.”Peggy Morris, aged 40
By this time our parents had divorced. Dad hooked up with a woman with only one child. LOL Mom moved us 2,500 miles away to avoid him, and Randy and I suddenly became besties and shared friends. On Saturday nights either we had a huge dinner party at our house with ten or twelve of us, or we went out with all our friends, and Mom’s friend from work, Margie who was widowed and laughed like a sea lion.
The rule came about when Tina, my friend Terry’s flat-chested younger sister, aged eleven, announced to a whole line of people at a smorgasborg restaurant, in her best stage voice, “I’ve got a big breast.” as she picked out the largest piece of chicken she could find in the tray. She waved it around for everyone to see.
That made all of us teenagers snort our guffaws, crouch half way to the floor, cross our legs, hold our stomachs with one hand and try to walk and push our food trays at the same time.
“Come on kids, you’re holding up the line.” said my mom being the one adult in the group. Margie barked so loudly at the sight of us getting our food to the tables that it seemed that the entire restaurant joined her.
“You live such an exciting life,” my mom’s college classmates told her when she shared her weekend adventures with them.
“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life.”Albert Einstein
Those were great years for Randy and me. We didn’t have much in common, but we had no one else. Now we celebrate life, go on a vacation somewhere, just the two of us, and reminisce about the crazy friends we had and how funny Margie was when she laughed. We all did whatever we could to make her laugh.
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”Mother Teresa
Neither Randy nor I had children, not out of choice, but we didn’t come from a prolific lineage. My first husband passed away and I remarried a man with – wait for it – an only child. His son has no children and is fifty-one this year. Our hopes for grandchildren are busted. His son is with a woman who has – you guessed it – one child.
“Friends are the family you choose.”Jess C. Scott
What do you do when you don’t have family? You make family. I was fortunate in that Vince adopted my “family friends” when we married. We’ve made more along the way. We both keep in touch with our siblings who live happily in distant cities. We brought my husband’s unmarried sister and her pets with us when we moved to Prescott.
Now it’s your turn. Find a favorite song or quote and tell me about your family.