Throwback Thursday — Family Stories

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie wants to know about saying hello and goodbye.

Here are Maggie’s questions.

1. Did you live close by or far away from close family or grandparents?

My parents moved the family from Newark, N.J. to the Washington, DC suburbs when I was about five. My mother’s brother and his family lived one suburban town away, and we saw them quite often. As to my grandparents, the only one who was still alive when I was born was my mother’s mother, and she lived with us until she passed away when I was only six.

2. How often did you see or visit extended family?

We probably spent at least every other weekend visiting my Aunt and Uncle and my cousins. Again, they lived in a neighboring suburb.

3. Was the coming together cheerful and celebrated in some way?

We often had large family get togethers around holiday times. And yes, I recall them being cheerful and happy times.

4. Which relative did you enjoy seeing the most? Why?

I had a cousin six months younger than me and he and I were very close. We were both the youngest child in our families. I had two considerably older sisters and he also had two older sisters and an older brother. So my cousin and I bonded.

5. Were there relatives you dreaded visiting? If so, why?

Not that I can recall.

6. If you were the visitor, was the trip short and easy or was it a journey?

The relatives we visited were in a neighboring suburb, so it was only about a 20-30 minute drive between our homes. Easy peasy.

7. Were your visits short or extended? If extended visits, where did you sleep? Bed, sofa bed, couch, floor?

Most of the visits were short, but I would often spend the weekend at my cousin’s house. He had twin beds in his bedroom, so that’s where I slept when I stayed overnight.

8. When it came time to leave, was it difficult to say goodbye?

No. We knew we’d probably be getting together again within another week or two, so it was no big deal.

9. How often do you visit extended family now?

Never. They’re all gone now. These days our “extended family” consists of our son, his wife, their two kids, and our daughter and her fiancé. We all live in the Bay Area, so we can and do get together often. My wife’s brother and his wife live in Florida and their two sons and their families live in Michigan and New York. But these days, my wife and I aren’t doing much traveling to visit them, although we are close and very much in touch.

10. If you could see a relative who is no longer alive, who would it be? Why?

As I mentioned in last week’s Throwback Thursday response, one of my greatest regrets is that I was too self-centered in my younger days to ask my parents for details about their childhoods, their immigration to America from Ukraine, and their early years in this country. If I could, that’s what I’d ask them about now.

WDYS — The Same Old Story

Well, at least he’s consistent. He’s either way late or he just doesn’t bother showing up at all, she thought. How many times was she going to put herself through this? “This is bullshit,” she said aloud as she leaned her back against window of the restaurant where he had agreed to meet her for dinner.

It was the same old story. He would say he was sorry, would come up with one lame excuse or another, and would promise her that it wouldn’t happen again. But she knew him and she knew that it would continue to happen as long as she let him get away with it. She was so tired of it, of him, of herself. So this is going to end now, tonight, she thought.

She headed back to where she had parked her car, got inside, and was about to start the engine when her phone vibrated. His text message read, “Hung up at work, babe. Rain check? Tomorrow, same time, same place?”

She sat in her car staring at the screen on her phone. One minute. Two minutes. She was so tempted to respond, “Sure.” That’s what she would have done before tonight. But not now, not anymore.

She took a deep breath and typed, “Goodbye.” Then she turned off her phone and drove home to her husband and kids.

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Photo credit: Jayson Hinrichsen @ Unsplash.