I didn’t grow up around my dad’s side of the family. We were in NY, and they were in GA. Well, my dad did have one sister in NY as well, and even though she was only about 2.5 hours away, we didn’t get to see her much.

Conversely, 3 of my mom’s 7 siblings lived in NY with us and we spent all of our holidays together. By the time I came along we weren’t even making trips to GA. The first time I met my paternal grandma (and was old enough to remember it) was when I was about 10.

My brothers were born in GA, so they are more familiar with my dad’s side of the family. As an adult, my oldest brother would take road trips to GA so he got to see them a lot more. In my late 20s, I started going as well. It was like meeting all these strangers for the first time.

My dad had 6 sisters. The youngest died when I was about 5 years old. Everyone says I look like her. The other passed when I was older but I never met her. Out of the four remaining, I am closest to my Aunt Betty and my Aunt Shirley.

They’re like my connection to my dad, now that he’s gone. They both do the greatest impersonation of my dad’s voice and intonation. It always makes me laugh.

So when I called to tell Aunt Betty about our adventures in house hunting and the baby on the way, she said she was sad for a second because she knew my dad would’ve really enjoyed being here to see this day. You know it doesn’t take much to make a pregnant woman cry, right? I’m on 485, blue tooth in my ear, tears just flowing…but then she went into her impersonation of what she thought he would say if he was here, and next thing you know I was laughing. I know he’d be excited. Shoot, like my mom he probably thought this day would never come.

I sent my Aunt Shirley a text since she was on her way to Myrtle Beach and told her I had news to share. She called me today and I left her hanging and told her about the house hunt first, and then about the baby. She was so excited! She said she was sure my dad was up in heaven celebrating. I told her I think he had something to do with it. LOL

I know they’ll let Granny know (that’s what they call my grandma). She’s got so many grands and great grands and great great grands, but I hope she’ll be excited about this one, too.

Connecting with them is so important to me. It’s like my lifeline to my father. I need to do a better job of staying connected.


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