How important is family in the 21st century?

Today, one of the last old people from my husband’s family passed awayHenry with Eileen, Marilyn, and Barbara (2). He was a terrific guy, and had a good send off. He lived a long life, and died at 90 .Every one of his grandchildren had wonderful things to say about him. If somehow he heard it, he would have been proud of the tribute.

I remember when I met my husband’s family for the first time. I was about 21, and he took me to Blacklick Woods to the traditional family picnic. I remember thinking how old the members of the family were. In reality, they were probably the age I am now. I never thought those picnics would come to an end, but all those people, except for one, are gone.  It’s like a creepy science fiction movie where people disappear.

The family had been having these picnics all through the twentieth century. There are plenty of family pictures to prove it. In 2002, the last picnic was officially held. The funeral almost seemed like a mini-family reunion. There weren’t a whole lot of people there, but enough to revive that family feeling.

In the olden days, people used to live together, and celebrate all the good times and sad times together. It’s too bad that doesn’t happen anymore. . It seems that once people moved to America, they scattered to the four winds.

Recollections of my own family

My family was pretty big too. My mother had 4 brothers and sisters. By the time I came on the scene, they weren’t getting together as much as they used to, but we’d have fun at family weddings. I had a couple of cousins near my age. I remember going to a Seder at my aunt’s house when I was little. There were so many kids, that we had a special table. I always used to enjoy those family occasions.

Somewhere in my childhood that pretty much came to an end. When my mother was still alive, I’d occasionally see one or two of my cousins because they would visit her. Having the family connection was important to her because that’s how people grew up in the good old days.

I think it’s really nice to have family around. I doubt if Ill ever see all my cousins again. Not unless someone decides to have a family reunion.

Because my two sisters don’t live by me, I don’t spend much time with either of them. Only the phone and Facebook keeps us connected.   When I was a child, I never imagined Id go years without seeing much of either of them, but thats just the way things turned out.

In my own family, I see my daughters, but my son is a wanderer. If I’m lucky, I see him once or twice a  year for a week or so.  And he was the one who hung around the house growing up!  I feel lucky that my daughter lives in town, and I have a little grandson living here.

What’s your experience?

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