Monday, 05 November 2018 18:20

Love Makes A Family

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My original family was my mother, my father, my grandmother and my brother Tommy. They all died many years ago. Since then, I have been lucky enough to build a framily: a combination of friends and family who fill my life with love and care.

If you think about the faces you see when you think of the word “family,” I bet there is a great mix of people among those faces. They have different ages, sizes, colors, genders…but all are part of that mind picture of “family.” One of my favorite quotes about family comes from a TV show (of course). On “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” the character Mary Richards describes her co-workers as her family. She says: “What is family anyway? It’s the people who make you feel less alone and really loved.” Think of the people who make you feel really loved and safe and secure. That is what family feels like.

My mother’s family came together because a ferry sailed across the Hudson River in upstate New York. My grandfather’s family lived in Newburgh. My grandmother’s family lived across the river in Beacon. Without that ferry running between the two cities, I might not be here today! They met working together in a hat factory. My own parents came together because my mother worked as a secretary with my father’s sister, and while he was in North Africa and Italy during World War II, they started writing to each other. A few years ago my cousin Maureen found a letter my father wrote to his sister (Maureen’s grandmother) during the war. He mentions my mother, calling her “Millie’s friend.” Seeing that letter connected me with my own past in a very special way.

This time of year when families get together to celebrate holidays is a wonderful time to make memories. Ask questions of your relatives about their lives. You’ll be surprised what you might learn! My cousin Rosemary says her first set of skis came from my mother. She became a ski instructor when she grew up. I do not remember my mother ever skiing or showing any interest in skiing, but Rosemary’s memory of her is tied to that sport.

This time leading to the winter holidays is when families gather. This month on Kids Corner we are celebrating family in all the ways it comes together.

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