The other day, at the restaurant, I looked around and something struck me. This is my FAMILY! Yes... MY family! You are all thinking, ok, crazy lady.
|The family I used to have. Top L - R - my paternal grandmother. My maternal grandfather dressed like Carmen Miranda at a family party. Bottom L - R Me and my sister on a vacation. Me heading out to dance class - my maternal grandparents.|
I was young in the late 60's early 70's. Those are the impressionable years. The years when I didn't realize not all families were like mine. It was my normal and in my mind, the world was the same. What a fun-filled normal it was!
Back then, I thought it would always be the same. Not so. In 50 years, things have changed a lot.
All four of my grandparents have passed as have many Great Aunts (see Diabeastabocious), Great Uncles, cousins Aunts, Uncles. These people had a huge impact on my life. I still smile/laugh when I think of them.
As I was losing my old family, I was gaining my current family, only I didn't realize it. The only people in the first picture above in the restaurant that were my family when ALL my grandparents were alive are my parents,and siblings. The rest weren't born yet or we didn't meet them yet.
Today, these people are my current, immediate family; the people I see all the time, celebrate with, visit with, confide in and vice versa.
I realize, there's a whole lot of family still to come. They will be here one day, and they will be the people I'm closest to and adore. Only I have to wait. It's not time.
Is it true it was better "back then" for each generation? In some ways, yes. In some ways no. We remember the good, and although my family was wonderful, the world was not all good.
I'd listen to stories from my parents about growing up in Brooklyn. They told us of the good times, the fun, the crazy adventures. It was perfect to them and they were sad we would never know it.
Yet... it wasn't perfect. As documented in history, society had issues. But in their world, things were perfect in their little slice of life.
|Our house, back in the day, when we first moved, in the suberbs, when I had my old family. A lot has changed, some for the better, some for the worse.|
I have no doubt that our children will be saying the same thing. Their childhood was the best. They wish their kids could know how wonderful it was.
If we believe that with each generation things get worse, then my great grandchildren will be living in a world of doom!
Any childhood is the best when you have a caring, loving, close family who has fun. It's the best simply because you ARE a child, innocent, and everything revolves around your family.
The lucky people who came from a family of great people, don't want to forget the past. They cherish it
When you had a safe, wonderful childhood, your memories aren't clouded. To a child who is secure in a good family, nothing bad will ever happen, at least in their mind. That's what my young mind told me.
Bad things happened to other families, in my child's mind. I remember The Son of Sam vividly.
When The Son of Sam was caught, they realized he had plans to come to Long Island! Prior to his arrest, my parents were worried. It's only a 40 minute drive with no traffic. He was too close for comfort. “It was,” Valenti recalls, “a terrible time. The whole city was terrorized, from the Hamptons to Queens, all the boroughs.”
I thought my parents were crazy. That won't happen to us. Not my perfect family. He might kill other young girls but not us Ahhhh, innocence.
We grow up and realize nothing in life is perfect. Bad things happen to good people through no fault of their own. People become victims, get sick, and those who are closest to us, our FAMILY, the people who shaped us, taught us, comforted us, die.
As a child, I thought my grandparents would live forever. I knew people died, but not them, not my family.
I eagerly await the family I haven't met yet. One day, I will be the grandma an innocent child truly believes will live forever.
|Years ago, I loved to cook for large parties. I baked cakes for big parties too!|
One day I'll be the matriarch, the wise one who the younger generations think is just soooooooo stupid! "Oh, Grandma, you don't understand." I've said that, while rolling my eyes. Now I realize, Grandma understood everything!
When I'm a grandma, I will still remember the family I used to have. I will still wish I could hear my grandmother say, "come sit on Grandma's lap" just one more time. I sat on Grandma's lap until I was 25 with a family of my own.
I learned valuable lessons from the family I used to have... The World Goes Round. It's what gave me the family I currently have and will bring me to the family I haven't met yet!