Maybe it’s because of all the recent Facebook backlash. Like so many, I’m not happy about the role they played in the Russian meddling and Cambridge Analytica data breech — but am loath to disconnect because it’s such a great way to keep up to date on all the comings and goings of friends and family who live elsewhere.
Maybe it’s because of Easter and Passover. I’ve written before about how we weren’t particularly observant, but we did love to get together as a family for all the holidays.
Then again, maybe it’s because there’s so few of my family members left.
It feels surreal sometimes, because there were so many of us — on both sides, both my mom’s and dad’s. We were all very close and spent lots and lots of time together. But at holiday times, like Chanukah and Passover and the High Holidays it wasn’t just the immediate family, we also saw all the members of our extended family, too.
Luckily I really got to know my great grandparents on my mother’s side. I was 15 when my great grandfather died and I was in my early 20s when my great grandmother passed. It was at their house that we always congregated. There were way too many of us to go for a meal, but we’d show up, en masse, in the afternoon for tea, cake and cookies. Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Everyone. So many we’d end up spilling out onto the street when the weather was good enough — or into the hallway once my great grandmother was on her own and moved into an apartment.
We always looked forward to seeing each other, we always had tons to talk about and we always had a great time.
On my dad’s side I never knew my great grandparents. For that matter, I didn’t even know my grandfather, he died well before my parents met each other. But there were still tons of us and every time my grandmother had all of us over for holiday dinners it was the same story. There were tables set up in every room of the house, including my grandmother’s bedroom. The kitchen was an absolute madhouse, but it worked. And it was fun.
Sometimes I think about how it is that I ended up with the family I did.
There are those who believe they know the answer to such questions. I can’t say I do, I’m still working on it. But of this I am absolutely certain: If I’d been handed a catalogue and the freedom to go through it and pick whoever I wanted, I couldn’t possibly have ended up better. Yes, I am blessed.