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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Family

No matter how long it's been since we've seen each other, the days my brother, Frank and I shared with our parents, make time slip away. The shared experiences make wonderful memories and conversation neither of us can have with anyone else in the world. 



 


My brother looks like Dad and I resemble Mom, so Sam and Mary live on in the appearances of their two children. Our gestures are reminiscent of our parents as well, as our spouses can attest. Still, in the above picture, my father's eyes stare back at me and my blond-haired, blue-eyed brother with the fair complexion, looks like the Irish O'Briens of my mother's family.


Remember when...is a big part of any conversation. The days of our youth are the good old days which we can laugh about now. Stories abound as memories flood back, one triggering another. Between us, we can generate the details of events and circumstances, as we finish each other's sentences.


Where are they now? Childhood friends and classmates have children and grandchildren so there is catching-up to do. Stories of school events, teachers, sports, music lessons, Sunday dinners, and church are all shared memories.


Because of our age at this stage in our lives, conversation always comes around to who has died. We are at the stage when the older generation is almost gone and our generation is beginning to disappear. Questions center around the person's age and cause of death.


Favourite conversations revolve around our parents, those two people who shaped our lives and helped make us who we are today.


 


However, the words and phrases used by our parents and grandparents are part of our vocabulary today as well. Nan's pronouncements about life, Dad's assessment of world affairs, and Mom's spiritual wisdom and vernacular are all part of the family history, memories and traditions. The hard work of our grandfathers is not forgotten either. Those two men did a great job supporting their families in difficult times. Today, laughter accompanies quiet moments of remembrance.


Meanwhile, my daughter, Claire, gave birth to our grandson, Owen, this past week while my brother and sister-in-law, Michele, were visiting. 


 


Owen joins Sylvie and Caitlin as the fourth generation from our parents, another little one to teach about his mother's ancestors and Newfoundland heritage. My brother and I look forward to sharing the memories of our side of the family with him.


What's it like when you get together with your siblings?


46 comments:

  1. Congrats on the birth of such a cutie pie!! Family is so important. We used to love hearing my dad and uncle talking about their childhood when my uncle would visit from out-of-state. Little did they know that they were sharing our family history and handing it down! Andrea

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    1. I love those stories from family and have recorded some of them. Pass them along , Andrea, if you haven't already.

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  2. When my sister Norma Jean and I get together (which we do by video chat a couple times a month) and when we visit once a year in person, it's the same with us: "remember when" is something that only she and I can share because we are the only ones left from that generation. I have other siblings, but they are all much younger than the two of us, so even though we are family, they are not the essential family that we are to each other. Congratulations on your latest grand! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Jan. Owen is a wonder!

      My brother and I are four years apart, close enough to share the same memories.

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  3. I'm almost out of siblings, as well as forebearers. I do miss them, and recall all you write of.

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    1. You have to keep your generation going, Joanne. Take care.

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  4. Welcome to the world, Owen, you little cutie! Congrats to all involved!

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  5. What a beautiful news! Congratulations on the birth,Owen! He is so cute.
    Love to see you and your brother in your childhood photo,Marie.

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    1. Thank you, Tomoko. We are all thrilled with Owen and very thankful!

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  6. Oh congratulations and welcome baby Owen 😊How exciting Marie, grandchildren are wonderful. I have a younger and an older sister, we live ten minutes away from each other and catch up often, either just the three of us or the whole family which adds up to.. rather a lot ☺

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    1. Lucky you to ave sisters and who live nearby, PDP.

      We are a small family. Owen makes ten on my side.

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  7. Owen is a total charmer. But you know that.
    Remember when plays an important part of our family get togethers. There is laughter and there is sadness (a bit like life really).

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    1. How true, EC. Laughter and sadness go hand in hand!

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  8. It's wonderful when you can get together with your family. I haven't seen my sisters in a long time but when we do, the old days always come up in discussion followed by laughter. Time sure flies doesn't it.
    Your grandson is a cutie.

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    1. Times disappears faster the older I get, Bill.

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  9. Oh, Congrats to you all on the birth of Owen. What a darling baby. You and your brother have the kind of relationship I share with my sister. We live very far apart and it has been 9 years since we've seen one another, but we talk daily (conversations similar to what you and your brother share). Your parents photo is so sweet and I enjoyed reading about them here. So very happy on the birth of this precious blessing from above. xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Mildred. Owen is a blessing.

      Neither I nor my mother had a sister so I can only imagine such a relationship, Mildred.

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  10. Thinking about family is one of my favorite things. And looking like other family members is something to be kind of proud of. I have my grandpa's premature gray hair. Some people would see something like that as a negative. But it gives me another thing to remember my grandpa by.

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    1. We keep more than memories of our ancestors alive, Ratty.

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  11. My brother doesn't enjoy family get together, so we mostly communicate electronically. My sister deserted the family decades ago. You are very lucky!!

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  12. How wonderful you have such a special relationship with your brother! My family is much like that too... all the stories that we share from our growing up years, so precious to us. What a darling grandson you have! So exciting your brother got to be there to share in the joy of it all :)

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    1. It was incredible that Frank was here for Owen's birth, Marilyn. He was with us when we brought our daughter home from the hospital all those years ago.

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  13. My sister, her husband and her three sons, my cousins and even my own daughter doesn't have time to keep in contact, they are too busy with their own little lives. The last time my sister visited me was 22 years ago.

    Congratulations on gaining another member of your family.

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    1. Thank you Keith. We are fortunate to have three grandbabies now.

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  14. Welcome to the new baby. Joyous family occasions live in a special moment all their own.

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    1. Thank you, Celia. We are blessed.

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  15. A brother. What a lovely gift. I have no siblings, but I have two cousins. :)

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    1. My husband is an only child too, Mage. And not many cousins either.

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  16. awwww, sibling get togethers. on both sides of the family they can be strained although most times, the ones that don't show up - don't show up!!!

    sweet images - what beautiful hair you had/have!!!!

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    1. Sometimes when they don't show up it's good, Debbie.

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  17. You have so MANY comments, I will just say it is all very lovely.

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  18. What a sweet little bundle. I wish I could have a cuddle with him!!!!

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  19. Multiply that several times, Marie, and you get stories upon stories and from different vantage points for me. I have SEVEN brothers and sisters, so you can imagine the stories. The weirdest thing is to hear the youngest, sister Ruth, 11 years my junior, tell stories about Mom and Dad I don't even recognize because I was out of the home by the time she was 7. She was raised almost like an only child! You can imagine how different that feels to me as #3 of the tribe. HA!

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  20. Wow, Ginnie. I have no concept of life in a large family though I knew some big families. Ruth's experience in the family was different from yours!

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  21. No siblings for me. Sue's sister will arrive for a very brief stay tomorrow. There will be stories and laughter.

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  22. My husband and I have one sibling between us too, AC.

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  23. Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful new grandson. Sarah x

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    1. Thank you, Sarah. He is a blessing.

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  24. thank you soooooo..... much for this beautiful post Marie!

    i often think that what if someone snaches away our memories ?
    what would we be without them?
    my heart has this treasure and i stroll it each day to live happily because through this window i peek into the world where i still breath freely with my roots ,my family which is my strength .
    my past gives meaning to my present and i feel proud about it.
    thank you for sharing the photo of magnificent couple who shaped you gloriously.
    you and your brother are lucky to resemble your parents ,how cute you both looked together.
    congratulation for new grandson .i am sure you will share your shiney memories with him soon.

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  25. Our pasts can give meaning to our present for sure, Baili.

    It is wonderful that, no matter our country of origin, our human experience of family is the same. Peace to you my friend!

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