All my adult life, not my childhood because that, regarding wider family was wonderful, I have felt on the edge of the family. As people grew older, got married, had their own children and formed their own family circles. Its perfectly natural of course. But I always felt excluded from things in adult life, even though, or perhaps because of, I was having my own children.
(note; above picture only two of my kids, the eldest , Gareth,lives in Basingstoke).
But I always thought that my female cousins had formed a kind of girls club, as women often and naturally do and that this was the reason for my feeling left out of things. I thought they were continually in contact with each other, meeting up, and whatever it is that women do on girls nights.
Transpires I was wrong.
It transpires that sisters Pat and Elaine always felt on the edge of the wider family. I had no idea. Their dad was, by all accounts, not terribly sociable and yet I have lots of memories of being in their home, watching home movies, going to the cinema with Elaine , sunday tea. But mum tells me that Uncle Tom liked her and my biological father, Roy (for whom he was best man at their wedding)
which explains why I have these memories but not, presumably, sisters Angela and Jennifer, or anyone else.
Darren I never met until the recent funeral and I have no idea why that would be. I dont recall Graham, his dad , being much involved in wider family, which I always put down to the girls club not being replicated by the boys. To be fair though, there are few boys in my wider family. Maybe I was wrong about this too.
All this I discovered at the funeral, so it could be said that there was a silver lining.
Lindsey has offered dinner to us and mum, and I would like to visit her without mum too, and for her to visit us. Elaine and I always just seem to click on the rare occasions we meet up at funerals and hospitals so maybe that relationship can be worked on further. My cousin once removed, Sarah, has said we should go down to her and stay over and she will teach me how to drive a horse (! poor horse !).
This is all good news. Maybe these little gaps in wider family life can be healed. The children of my cousins have never met my children! That seems quite bad to me, even though it may be natural as families spin off from the original central hub.
And then theres TOHOTS wider family who she doesnt have much to do with for some unknown reason, and I hope Im making inroads there too. Curiously, this also stems from a funeral.
Hmm, maybe this is all about me being aware of my own mortality. Need to think about that.
So anyway, watch this space.
Love all, hurt none and walk in soft shoes
Isi Tart xx