STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS SATURDAY: It’s All Relative

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Greetings! Welcome to another Stream of Consciousness Saturday, hosted by Linda Hill over at her blog. If you’d like to see the rules on how to play, check over there.

This week’s prompt: relative/relativity

When I think about relative, I think about my family. I have a big family, not huge, but then, it’s all relative. In my immediate family, I had three brothers, and between them and their spouses they have seven kids, to me six nephews and a niece. Mom had five sisters and a brother, and all but one had children, so on that side of the family I have 19 first cousins (one is deceased). Dad (who died in 1967) had three brothers and a sister who died before I met her; one of his brothers had nine kids (two now deceased), another had one, and the third didn’t have any children. And I believe almost all of them have kids. I can’t keep up with them all, but I try; if Facebook is worthwhile for one reason, that would be it.

I suppose I should mention that one of my brothers has a different father than I and the other two brothers do. But that doesn’t matter to us. His father was as good as a father to the three of us after Dad died. Long story, he was a priest before he married Mom. And I guess I should mention that he has a brother and a sister and a bunch of nieces and nephews, I think 13 altogether. I even know some of them. Grandma Holton, my dad’s mother, sort of adopted him when she remarried. Mom was really worried about telling Grandma that she was remarrying, but no one could have been happier.

I won’t even try to mention all of my mother’s cousins. I’m never sure how many there are, or whether they’re Mom’s first cousins or “cousins once removed.” Dad’s family is a mystery. I learned a while back that Grandma Holton had four sisters and three brothers, including a brother Sylvester that none of us ever knew (I think he died shortly after birth), and Grandpa Holton (who died when Dad was seven) had six brothers, I think. The only one I ever met was Lawrence, who had half an ear and a pacemaker.

Mary’s family, on the other hand, is tiny. Her mother had two brothers, neither of which had any kids, and her dad had a brother who had two kids. So she had three uncles, two aunts, and two first cousins. All of her grandparents moved to the US from Lithuania at the beginning of the 20th century. Not long before she died, though, my mother-in-law heard from someone who was a cousin. Sad that she never got to know him except for a couple of phone calls.

Needless to say, Mary was a little overwhelmed by my family…

Oh! There are others! Walkie, my maternal grandmother, had two sisters. One married and had four kids, two of whom had a child each and one who had four kids. I actually knew Hicks’, my maternal grandfather’s, parents. Walkie died in 1962, and my grandfather remarried; his wife’s parents were still alive. His wife, who’s still going well into her nineties, had two kids, one of whom passed away a couple of years ago, not long after Mom did.

Just thinking about it, I’ve been blessed to have had so many relatives and to have gotten to know them, even for a short time.

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

2 thoughts on “STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS SATURDAY: It’s All Relative”

  1. John – you have one big family! Facebook keeps me in touch with nine nieces and four nephews… if not, I’d probably never use the site. Most of them are military or ended up leaving in different states, after being discharged… this works for now.

    Of all the family, I wished I had met my third cousin… Walter Lantz. The creator of Woody Woodpecker. My grandmother had photos of him, when they were kids overseas. Both came to US, but didn’t know it for years.

    I read this early morning but am just getting back here to leave a note. I found it interesting that you still have so many family members alive at the ages they are. (smile) Have a good Sunday.

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    1. I love Woody Woodpecker, although I like the older ones, where he really looked insane. Like here:

      I definitely have longevity on my side, especially when you consider Mom’s siblings are all still alive. My grandfather died at 96, and Grandma Holton was 92 when she passed, so I have it on both sides.

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