Maggie is in the chair today and her theme is saying hello and goodbye.
You can read her post and join in here
1. Did you live close by or far away from close family or grandparents?
2. How often did you see or visit extended family?
3. Was the coming together cheerful and celebrated in some way?
4. Which relative did you enjoy seeing the most? Why?
5. Were there relatives you dreaded visiting? If so, why?
6. If you were the visitor, was the trip short and easy or was it a journey?
7. Were your visits short or extended? If extended visits, where did you sleep? Bed, sofa bed, couch, floor?
8. When it came time to leave, was it difficult to say goodbye?
9. How often do you visit extended family now?
10. If you could see a relative who is no longer alive, who would it be? Why?
The best thing I did after my divorce in 1981 was to move away from the parental county. It meant I had to stand on my own feet, which I did, despite the way things turned out, and made me a stronger and more independent person. However, visiting my parents when I was on the road to recovery after my breakdown was a retreat I desperately needed to get me away from the situation when there was no school to detract from the stress of the relationship I was in. At those times, I would go ‘home’ on Fridays and come back as late as I could on Sundays. I slept on the floor in the lounge with the comforting tick of their central heating thermostat and the parental love that abounded there.
My parents are no longing living, neither are my in-laws, and my grandfathers and their spouses (I never knew either of my grandmothers) died years ago.
When we were local, Hubby and I would visit family every weekend. On Christmas Eve we’d do the Santa run, then come home, lock the door and our Christmas would begin with just the two of us and the dog.
We were always made welcome, but when my parents moved in with my sister in 1995 and my Dad died a year later, things changed, though we still visited every week. My Mum would come to stay for the weekend, sometimes meeting me from work when I worked for the bank or I’d collect her on my way home when I worked for the book company, taking her back on Sunday evening.
When we moved away in 2007, there was a lot of friction from my sister who accused me of desertion, and as she had never given us any visiting time when we were just 7 miles away, there was no chance of her visiting when it was 300.
We tried to visit as often as we could, but she had no concept of the distance, and so didn’t think we did enough. We had to do the trip in one day as we were never offered a bed for the night, and it was months before we got offered more than a cup of tea.
It was great when Mum was able to come up on the coach and she’d stay for at least a month, sometimes two, but then dementia took hold and we were back to visiting when we could.
The journey was at least 6 hours, and once was over 9, so it was a long day for all of us, unfair on the dog, hell on Hubby’s mobility, and we were shattered at the end of it.
The only time we saw MIL apart from collecting our belongings when we bought the cottage in 2007 was when she’d been admitted to hospital. We cleaned the house throughout, replaced everything out of date in the freezer and cupboards, changed the bedding, and slept on the floor. I visited her on my own when I went to my BIL’s funeral in 2010, and in 2013 SIL put her in a home. She died in 2018 as did SIL and the only reason we found out was because I looked it up on the internet.
Hellos and Goodbyes are irrelevant to us as far as family is concerned. It is doubtful I will get to visit Bro in NZ again, Other Brother is 130 miles away and Sis is 270 miles away. I might get a phone call from my brothers but contact with sis is practically zilch.
As for them visiting me, that is never going to happen but I can live with that.
If I could see a relative again who is no longer alive, it would be my parents.
I would tell them how much I love and miss them, and how sorry I am about how things have turned out. I am glad they are not here to see it, nor to suffer the extreme stress of how the health and economic state of the country is. They are together in the Garden of Forever where nothing and no-one can hurt them anymore.
Image: Walk to Forever by Monika Colichio