I was going to do Fridays' Five Favorite today, but then I saw the prompt for Flashback Friday. This is a continuation from last week, and, well,
This week's Flashback Friday is all about extended family. Since my parents are from Texas, we didn't have any extended family living near us. There was no going to Grandma's for Sunday dinner, running around with cousins, etc. We went down to Tx. every other year, with the other year a group from my mother's side coming up. You wouldn't believe how I looked forward to those couple of weeks every year! It got a little sad when my uncle (who headed up the road trip) and cousins got older and couldn't make the trip. That uncle was my favorite. He was a priest, and he had such a way with kids. I absolutely adored him. When we were in Tx., he would take the older kids on a canoe trip in the Rio Grande. When they came to Tn., I always wanted to ride with him because he made everything so fun. He sang; he made us laugh, he could sound just like Tarzan. When I was very little, I told him that he was big and fat (although I'm sure he wasn't!). My mom turned to him and asked what I said. He told her, and she scolded me and told me not to say that again. Next thing you know, I got him to bend down and told him that I wanted to tell him something. He fell for it, asked what, and I said "you're big and fat"! Pretty sure a spanking happened after that! Even though he passed away in January of 2009, I can still hear him telling me that story. And, to this day, every time I smell a cigar, I think of him. He was my mom's big brother; of the siblings, they were the closest in age.
When we went to Tx., we always stayed with my mom's sister, C. This woman was a saint. I loved her with all my heart. She took Grandma into her house and cared for her when Grandma could no longer live by herself. (Grandma made her kids promise that they would never put her in a nursing home.) My grandmother was bedridden for many, many years. Aunt C. fed her, changed her, and kept her company. When her son died at the age of 19, my grandma said that it should've been her; she was ready to go. About 3 years later, my grandma passed away. Then, if that wasn't enough, a few years later Aunt C.'s husband was diagnosed with cancer. She nursed him until his death. In my eyes, Aunt C. is a saint.
I had to chuckle at the prompt about whether the paternal and maternal sides know each other: There are a few instances when someone from my mother's side married someone from my father's side. In fact, my dad said that it even happened before both sides immigrated to the U.S.! I think I may have mentioned this before, but the closest would be one of my mom's 1st cousin marrying one of my dad's sisters. Family reunions are extremely confusing, believe me!
We didn't see a lot of my dad's side of the family. We would spend a few days with some of his sisters (his brothers lived in different states), but it was pretty low-key, especially compared to my mom's side. I am getting to know a couple of his sisters through e-mails. One of his sisters is my godmother, and we share a birthday. The other sister that I'm in touch with has a daughter that is exactly one year older than I. Both of them are quite the characters! I never know what I'm going to get when I open up an e-mail from them!
To participate in either Flashback Friday or Fridays' Fave Five, click on the links and link up!