Childhood memories of family gatherings, laughter, chatter, bewildering numbers of adults that were my ‘Aunts and Uncles’. Playing with Cousins, being a bit mischievous as no one noticed amongst the crowd of activity. This was a regular occurrence as there always seemed to be a party or outing to celebrate something or other in the extended family.
Mum was always inclusive when we had get togethers, everyone was invited, friends, neighbours, relatives of neighbours and so on. Noisy, fun events. This meant of course that we would also be invited back so life was mostly a gregarious state of affairs.
After she died things changed and the gatherings eventually ended, family rifts limited the get togethers and old friends passed away. Partners no longer encompassed by the group, the group no longer existing.
Family rifts are sad because they effect everyone although they may just be between two people.
That is why family is so important to me and I hope I can keep the family together, just as Mum did, although in a quieter way, a smaller inclusive group, but growing as time goes by.