Yesterday morning, the JA’s maternal grandfather passed away. A sad occasion, but one that we knew was on the horizon. He had been in and out of the hospital since January, and dementia set in a few weeks ago. We spent a day with him over our Spring Break, and we are as at peace with this as can be expected.
His passing led us to have an interesting conversation. My family is small, and not extremely close. Daddy Janks is an only child. Mommy Janks is the only girl and the youngest of four children. (One is deceased.) She is getting closer with her oldest brother, but even so, we are not as tight-knit as other families.
The JA, on the other hand, grew up in a family that gathered for Sunday dinner at his grandmother’s house every week. No exceptions, you were there. His best memories are those that include his cousins. As they’ve grown older, the cousins have drifted apart, but not far. His extended family on his mom’s side spends a week at the beach together, and his father’s side gather for birthdays, Mother’s/Father’s Day. We are with both sides on Christmas, in addition to my family, so we’re often running around seeing everyone.
I’m still getting the hang of how a big family operates, and he’s learning how my family does things. We have differing opinions on multiple aspects of family dynamic, frequency of visits, and relationships in general. I’m loving that there are so many ‘young’ cousins at his family gatherings, but that my family is much less (for lack of a better word) overwhelming. One day, hopefully we’ll fully integrate and simply have everyone together instead of traveling from place to place!
Do you have a big or small family?
All photos in this post taken by Helen Helen Macaulay, Associate Photographer with Maria Linz Photography.