Thanksgiving is just around the corner and the beginning of the holiday season, 2013. A time of the year when we think more about family and family connections and disconnections than any other time of the year.

My Thanksgiving holiday begins a bit early, with a dinner this weekend at the home of Bonnie Mantell. She’s the mother of my DIL, and a fantastic cook. Then on Thanksgiving day, I’m having dinner with my daughter Cherryl’s friend.

This morning saw a notice on FB about the passing of an aunt in Coral Gables, Florida. I have not seen her since the forties. However we grew up together. Because my parents were teenagers when they married and I was the first child and first grandchild on both maternal and paternal sides of the family, I grew up with a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins, some my age and some even younger. We played together, ate together and went to school together. One big family of relatives, living on a farm in Northeast Georgia.

It was during the Roosevelt era, when his policies curtailed the farming industry, and involved this nation in World War Two, life as I knew it changed drastically. The young men joined the military, and the women took jobs to support the military. Farms closed down, and family members scattered to various locations. And that close-knit family life of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents changed forever. I, like many others moved away to other towns, other states and even out of country.

However, holidays are reminders of another time in our history, and fond memories of close family of origin times growing up. Just this year I had a visit with two lovely daughters of both brothers, whom I had not seen since they were very young. We had lunch and toasted with a glass of wine. A very special visit for me.

There are so many things in this modern day era of information and wonderful inventions which improve our lives. However the breakup and scattering of our families of origin, is not necessarily a positive change. That part of our human nature which longs for belonging and connection with others, particularly with blood kinfolks, travels with us no matter where we live. And holidays are a glaring reminder of that.

With me personally, my children and grandchildren fill the gap as I’m sure it does with others. It’s mainly on holidays we are reminded of a past, and a different time with different relatives we enjoyed growing up. Without exception we all have a family of origin. And in my particular case, aunts, uncles and cousins, some my age and some even younger.

We can select our friends, the places we live, the work we choose, the schools we attend, and so many areas that mold our lives and who we are, but those blood relatives, in this embodiment, are selected for us. And I for one cherish many good memories of years past when we were all more connected, before scattering to various places around the globe.

From Sir Francis Bacon comes this quote: “Do what thy manhood bids thee do. From none but self expect applause. He noblest lives and noblest dies – who makes and keeps his self-made laws.”

To all my octogenariansblog web-site friends from the past five years, I wish happy holidays, safe travel, and a prosperous coming new year.



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