I am in Florida visiting family and I fly home tomorrow. I am already dreading saying goodby to my family. These thoughts are what inspired the topic this week.
This week’s prompt is: Saying Hello and Goodbye
I will give you some questions to help you along. Or, free write if you would rather. You can either respond in the comments or link back to this post. My response will follow.
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?
We were the family that moved away from the home place, so visits back “home” were always a treasure to me. When we moved to Florida we had no family visits. We only lived there a year, so it wasn’t too bad. We moved to Ohio when I was in sixth grade, so we made frequent trips back home to visit our grandparents.
Our trip from Ohio to Virginia was always a long trip. At that time, it took about twelve hours. I75 was in progress but not yet completed. (My dad loved to sneak on the highway and drive it before it officially opened. That always made me nervous!) Much of the final leg of our journey was across mountain roads. We always traveled the West Virginia turnpike, too, and I remember being amazed at the underground coal mine that was always burning and smoking as we passed it. Mom always packed lunches and snacks, and she always had a big bag of orange slices and pink mints for the ride. We always arrived at my grandmother’s late at night. My grandfather had already passed away by this time, so there were four bedrooms upstairs to accommodate the six of us. I always loved being in the Valley again, so leaving was always hard. Our departure always seemed to be in the early hours of the morning and I always felt so sad to leave.
At my maternal grandmother’s house, there were also four bedrooms upstairs. Where we slept depended on how many cousins were there visiting. My grandmother had a big featherbed made of ticking she would pull out of the closet and toss on the floor for the grandkids to sleep on. I can still remember feeling the end of a feather poke me and slowly pulling the feather out of the mattress.
I always hated leaving my grandparents. The drive to see them was fun and exciting, but the ride home was sad and the trip was not near as much fun returning home. I often cried leaving my family. I am still very much the sentimentalist today. Leaving those I love is never easy. I try to be strong within sight of my grandchildren because I do not want them to be sad. I always try to part with the promise of another visit soon.
It is hard to say which relative I would want to see again. I would love for my parents to meet their grandchildren and great grandchildren. I have so many questions I would love to ask my grandparents that I was too young to even consider at the time. And my sisters? I wish they could be here more for their children and grandchildren than for me. I’m not sure I could choose.