The Curse of Family Blessings

Longevity runs in my family.  It is something that I know I should be thankful for, although I didn’t see it that way all the time when I was a kid.  I grew up with all four of my grandparents living and within an hour’s drive of my childhood home.  I even had three great-grandparents on my father’s side, with the great-grandmothers passing away when I was 13 (she was 100 1/2) and 20 (she was 88).  After my parents divorced, we spent a lot of time with my mother’s parents who lived on the opposite side of town.  I saw my father’s parents, who live in Charlottesville, several times a year as well.  It was the status quo.  I was in college before I truly recognized that some people are not as fortunate–a friend of mine had spent the summer with his grandmother in California and had a miserable time because it was the first time he’d seen her in ten years.  I thought that was odd.  Didn’t everyone have a close family that got on each other’s nerves like we did?  And not just grandparents–there was a whole slew of great-aunts and great-uncles as well that were surrogate grandparents as well. Continue reading

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