Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What's his is more mine than mine is.....

It's true.  Royd's extended family is more my family than my own extended family.  I suppose that distance, different views of life, divorce, adoption, and in the extreme case not even knowing we had extended family on mom's side all add up to cousins who I rarely see or have anything in common with. 
My dad is one of 3 boys.  Bob, did not have any children.  Larry, has 7 and the last time I saw more than one of them was at Grandma's memorial service - 12 years ago.  Gulp!  I do have one cousin that I keep in random contact via Facebook, he is likely the only one who would recognize me if we passed on the street.  However it is a contact in the case of family emergency... Sad, yup, but that is the reality in the world of the Rogers boys. My mom, well that is a long story and you can read more about that here.  Suffice to say, I have more cousins on that side than I even knew existed before 2008.

Royd's family on the other hand feels like how I always imagined family should be.  Certainly not perfect, and there is certainly some disconnect there as well, however the ties that bind are much tighter. Royd's dad is one of 10. Royd is one of 30 grandchildren, 15 boys & 15 girls.  When Ashlynn was born I think we calculated that she was the 30th great grand child - since then that generation has exploded and I have lost track.  Last weekend as many who could make it gathered for a Christmas get together, it was a loud, happy, joyous affair.  By Hilstad standards there were very few there (33 I think) but those who were not there were certainly there in spirit, talked about (in a good way), remembered and cherished. 

I remember my first ever Christmas gathering, there must have been 50 or more gathered in Art's house (Royd's dad's). To say I was overwhelmed was an understatement.   At the time Royd and I were 'just friends' truly, and honestly 'just friends' good friends albeit, but just friends. I was feeling a little shy and just wanted to observe.  That did not matter to the aunts and uncles... I was as good as married to the guy - after all at 20ish he had never brought another girl to the shin dig, grandpa & grandma loved me, and I sassed a few of them back (in a most playful polite sort of way)... I was invited back the next year by Uncle Larry then and there. I am sure that Royd had not thought that far in advance.  To say the least I was welcomed into the fold and totally engulfed by the love that is this family.  20 some odd years later, it truly is more my family than my own is. And you know what that is o.k. my family is what it is and I am happy to embrace my husbands extended family in the same way they have embraced me.  I am glad for my girls, that they can be a part of it knowing that they have a place to belong, aunts & uncles who look forward to seeing how much they have grown each year.  Cousins, to play games with, tease and interact with or little ones to entertain.  This is what family is supposed to be.  Even if there are months or years between visits.. you pick up where you left off, give a hug and in the Hilstad family, grab a coffee and a piece of Lefsa and settle in for a good visit.   Looking forward to this summer when we will gather for an Aunt & Uncle's 50th anniversary - now that will be a party!  Watch out Saskatchewan the Hilstads are coming......

1 comment:

Jensboys said...

Very wonderful :) can you email me the picture??