Growing up on a farm in northeast Georgia, I had a very large extended family. My parents were teenagers when they married, which meant I had rather young grandparents, with a lot of aunts, uncles, cousins and even great-grandparents still living when I grew up.
Some aunts were uncles younger than I, living on an adjoining farm, and we played together, caught the school bus together and attended the same school. I only had one sister and two brothers, but always felt as though I had a large family, because of so many aunts and uncles my age and younger living nearby.
My parents and siblings have all passed away, however a few aunts and one uncle are still living. Recently two remaining aunts passed away, I went to school with. Because I have outlived all in my family of origin, and most of my extended family, everytime I hear of a passing, for several days afterward, my thoughts are about the times growing up with them.
Back when I was growing up on the farm, cotton was king and the cash crop. Consequently in the fall, when harvested and taken to the cotton mill for baling, the returned bales of cotton were lined up in the front yard of my grandparents’ residence. Some of my most vivid memories are the times I spent playing hide and seek, with aunts and uncles playing among all those bales of cotton. And every time a family member passes I think about those fun times, jumping and hiding among the bales of cotton.
Recently, two aunts on the paternal side of the family passed. One lived in Coral Gables, Florida and the other in Commerce, Georgia. The news of any family of origin passing, always causes me to go through a period of reflection, recalling our times together growing up, despite the fact I was not very close to them in later years. Mainly because I lived a number of years in other areas of the States, plus four years in Japan, we drifted apart.
We become pre-occupied with our children and grandchildren and other things, while our growing up formative years seem to fade into the past. That is until we receive news of their passing. For me, then it feels like yesterday we were, back there on the farm, playing among the bales of cotton, going to school, and spending time together. I wonder if others feel those pangs of nostalgia, recalling growing up years, with family no longer alive.
I for one, feel extreme gratitude for the long lengthy life I have been privileged to experience. And recognize the values I was taught and Principles I discovered during those formative years, formed the basis of who I am, lo these years later. Which serves as a reminder of the power of our family of origin and our growing up formative years with them as a part of our lives.
A life for me so different, I observe in many children today, who seem so pre-occupied with various electronic gadgets they are so busy fingering and playing with. And wonder what their memory bank of childhood will hold for them.
I’m not one who spends that much time dwelling on the past, but do spend sometime at certain periods of events, to recall another time, in a different place, with different members of my family of origin, and recall most with fond memories.
Hope this writing serves as a reminder to my readers, to recall fond memories of their childhood.
LET FREEDOM RING
JUST ME AC