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good fortune.

I am a little behind on my February prompts.  In this post, I am going to try to include some of the other prompts that I have missed into this post.  I feel a little emotionally spent and I’ve been offline trying to restore my depleted stores.  Oh February, looks like you’ve got me on the ropes.

We celebrated Family Day Weekend.  It’s a long weekend in February that is observed by most provinces in Canada and since it’s inception, we have always spent it together as a family.  This year was difficult since we are missing a piece – our eldest daughter – who is away volunteering in the Philippines:

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(She is giving this little boy some dollar store gifts she brought in her suitcase.  Not surprisingly, all the littles have taken a liking to her in the small town.)

Needless to say, we really miss her and the first weekend she was away, family day weekend, was going to be a tough emotional one for me.  You can’t imagine how grateful I felt when I received this email invite from my mother:

We’re having an open house this “Family Day” weekend (Saturday to Sunday). I will start cooking for Saturday lunch and will just keep cooking and baking until everyone decides to go home on Sunday. Yes, you can come for Saturday lunch and sleep-over as long as you don’t mind the floor and bring sleeping bags. Of course my grandkids get first “dibs” on the sofa beds. 

Thanks Mom.

So this is what we did on family day weekend.  We had…

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(That’s my 95-year old grandfather on my mom’s couch and air mattresses galore in her living room.)

These sleepovers reminded me of my childhood.  The February 15 prompt was “childhood bedroom.”  For most of my early years, up until I was 12, my mom was a single mother.  Most times we shared a bedroom which at one point was in the living room of my aunt’s apartment. Because she worked multiple jobs and went to school part-time, my bedroom was also with aunts and grandmothers who took care of me.  I spent a lot of time sleeping over at cousins’ homes and at my grandparents’ home.  As an only child in those early years, my extended family provided warmth and companionship when I needed it most.

Fast forward decades later and I am still turning to them for support.  There was a lot of…

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Not everyone slept over but many cousins, aunts, and uncles dropped by over the course of the weekend.  My kids spent time with their great-grandfather, grandmother, step-grandfather, great aunts, great uncles, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  I barely saw them.  What I saw was one of my children always with a different family member: sitting beside their great-grandfather at breakfast, catching up with an aunt, playing with a small/big cousin, and sleeping beside a great aunt.

My mom cooked Filipino food.  Comfort food.  I sat and talked about how much I missed my daughter with my cousins, with my aunts, and with my mom.    They listened and reassured me.  I felt like a kid again being surrounded by this wonderful community of family members from different generations.

On the last day of the sleepover weekend, my grandfather turned to me and he said, “Do you know what the worst part of a party is?  The parting.

It’s as if he read my mind.

Dear Family:

Thank you.  Thank you all.  You probably don’t know it but with you just showing up and being there, you helped me through a weekend where my heart hurt.  I am grateful for my mom’s home-cooked meals and hospitality.  I am grateful for my aunts, my mother’s sisters, for making me laugh and for your wisdom – you all are like mothers to me.  I am grateful for my stepfather for his patience and good humour that he maintained while his house was invaded by all of us.  I am grateful for my brothers for just showing up and for my youngest brother for playing with his nieces and nephew.  I am grateful for my cousins who I spoke to and to some I didn’t get to see but were able to hang out with my kids.  Thank you for loving them and taking the time to be there. I am grateful that Lolo had such a great weekend for the simple reason that he had a chance to be among family.

I may not say this directly to all of you but I hope you all know how grateful to have the good fortune to be a part of this family.

Love you all.

 

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Trying to survive the February blues by getting my write on with writealm:

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Michelle February 20, 2014, 11:34 pm

    This post brings back great memories of growing up around your family. Although we are not blood related, we were welcomed into your family circle. I remember long summer days playing baseball, football or hide and go sneak in the parking lots and cherry picking and countless mahjong nights that we always hoped would turn into sleepovers. When I tell those stories from the past, I sometimes get stumped when thinking of how to refer to everyone, we weren’t “cousins” but to say “friends” doesn’t feel special enough. I think it is wonderful to see your family continue to make great memories.

    • rozanne February 23, 2014, 12:49 pm

      Hey Michelle! I think the term back then was “courtesy cousins” but you all felt like cousins anyway! I love that my kids get to enjoy these sleepovers now and look forward to any family get-together that is coming up…they are already talking about Easter!

  • amanda February 21, 2014, 1:45 pm

    i absolutely love this family weekend thing and the idea that even the older generations participate. such great memories being made!

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