For Day #3 of 31 Days of of Gratitude, I am grateful for my family. I’ve probably mentioned before that I come from a very large family. I don’t mean immediate – other than a half-sister – I don’t have any other brothers or sisters. But for other family members – I have them aplenty.
I think I’ve mentioned that I always laugh at the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Toula tells Ian that she has 27 first cousins (go to the 1:25min mark).
To explain why I laugh so much and to put it into perspective, when my grandmother (meme/mimi) passed away in 1985, she had 56 grandchildren (which would mean I had 55 other first cousins), 79 great grandchildren and 15 great-great grandchildren.
That is not a typo.
When your mother is the youngest of 16, the numbers can be “out there”. And that’s only one side!
The only difference compared to Toula’s family and mine is that – unfortunately or not – our family doesn’t spend a lot of time together, at least, as a large group. In fact, many of the cousins don’t even know each other. Some maybe don’t even get along for whatever reason. But to all of them, I’m Switzerland.
Growing up, I was closest to several because our families spent a lot of time together. Over the years, thanks to social media, I’m gotten to know some family I didn’t know before, became closer to those I hadn’t seen or talked to in years, and in general, am grateful for those that I have in my life.
With that many cousins, many of whom were older than my mom, some have left us already. I’m sorry that I didn’t get to know many of them very well. The great thing about my family being so large is that there is so much to learn – about them and our family history. Stories about their parents – fathers who perhaps fought in a war or served in the military – something to be proud of.
So I love my extended family – all those crazy cousins. And while the number likely never went higher than 56 for first cousins, there are plenty more family that have been added over the years, and are still being added today.
And with a family this large, it’s really hard to feel alone. You’d hope they would be there for you, as much as you’d try to be there for them.
Because, after all, that’s what family should really be about, right?
Blessings to all.