Recently, I have been adding information to my father-in-law’s version of his family tree. I felt privileged when he sent me the invitation to join, really it was just an invitation to add my family history, but these are my feelings and I’ll keep them.
It was fun for me to enter information of my siblings, my parents, my children and so forth. Once I went as far as I could by memory, I referred to my copies of the Snelgrove and Whitbourn sagas written by my youngest sister and added more and more and even more. There is such a wealth of history between these smooth pages and I revisited them with interest upon each entry.
I don’t think often enough about my roots and I doubt I am very different from most people in that regard. But then there are times that I am overcome with pride when I think of who I am, where I came from, who my parents and grandparents were/are. This is one of those times.
Every year, I spend perhaps a mere ten days with my sisters and my lone living parent, my mom. More than that, obviously, with my children and grandchildren. I know that when we visit with each other, we really share the time with each other. I am not an ever-present grandma or daughter or mom or sister but in my heart is an ever-present feeling of belonging with my family. We’ve never asked for anything else from each other. There is no book written in stone for any of us to follow regarding “How Many Times Must We See Our Grandchildren?” and even if there were such a guideline, we probably wouldn’t follow it. We are all different in what we believe and feel is normal when it comes to family. The love we have for each other reaches beyond any hard cover.
I lost a brother less than two years ago. In my opinion it wasn’t his time and I wasn’t ready to let him go. We were very close in our pre-teen and teen years yet I didn’t get asked if it was okay to say goodbye. Even though we didn’t see each other or talk more than ten times per year, that has no bearing on the loss I feel for him. Today, I am his age when he passed, Monday I will be older than he was ever allowed to be.
My sisters, except for one, are older than I am. I’m happy about that. They are retired, I am not, yet. There are times I wish I lived closer so I could hug them whenever I felt the urge. Other times I like the distance because we could never get sick of seeing each other and it’s a real treat when we are in the same place at the same time. I love my sisters, all five of them, we have a wonderful relationship.
I look up to their knowledge, hold them all up on a pedestal for different reasons. I strive to live up to their standards while at the same time, still being true to who I am. We all have our way of enjoying life, again different but with similar elements. This is what keeps things interesting, I suppose. We don’t argue about petty stuff, we don’t argue period. We get together, just us girls with our Mom, once a year for a weekend of girl-foolery and do whatever we want and then we say goodbye until the next time.
My sisters, my brother, my Mom, my children and grandchildren are all within reach when I need them. I like that, I like that a lot.