|The Friend Family:
Standing From Left To Right: Mary, Zippy, Roy, Richy, Ray, Michelle |
Sitting From Left To Right: Dad, Mom, Sandy, Karen
Not Pictured: Sharon - She couldn't get off of work that day. Karen and Sharon are identical twins.
They have been my role models and my best friends. And we always spent a lot of time together with big family dinners, summer camp outs in the back yard, karaoke nights, outdoor summer barbecues, fishing trips and visits to the lake. Even something as simple as going to the movies or sitting at one of our houses watching TV together. But now I live far away from them. And plane tickets for a family of 5 (my husband and I have three children) are just not financially possible for us right now.
I have actually not seen any of my siblings in 11 years. And it has been 9 years since I last saw my Mom (we lost my Dad in 2005). My oldest daughter was 9 months old when we moved away, and my other daughter and son were born here. So they have never met their Aunts and Uncles. And they don't really remember my Mom. She last visited here in 2010. My daughters were 1 year and 2½ years old then and my son wasn't born yet. That makes me really sad because I love my Mom and all of my brothers and sisters so much. So I tell the kids all about them and I show them pictures of each of them. And they get to talk to them on the phone once in a while. But it isn't the same as actually getting to know them in person.
Moving was a bit of a shock for me. I went from seeing at least one or two of my siblings every single day and spending time with them, to not seeing them at all. And my Mom and I did everything together. We spent time together every single day.
Holidays are the worst. For my entire life prior to moving, we had huge family dinners on holidays. And not just on holidays, we would often get together just because we wanted to. Especially in the summer. There was always so much good food at those dinners because each person brought two or three food dishes to share. And there were so many people because everyone would bring their families. We would spend the entire day talking, laughing and playing games. And now it's just my little family of 5 and my husband's parents on holidays. It always leaves me feeling like there is something missing.
My kids don't even realize how big our family actually is because they have never gotten to experience being around them. But someday I hope we can change that. I would love to take them to see the place I grew up and to let them experience those family get togethers. But until that happens, I will have to settle for telling them all about how it used to be.
That's what's on my mind today. Feeling homesick. I'm not missing the place so much as the people. As my sister would say: "I need my family fix" because I am in deep withdrawal from them!