Is That What I was Supposed to Do?

I received a CD-rom from my cousins yesterday. It contained more than 1,300 family photos. The note promised pictures from several weddings, including my own, major birthday parties for family members, showers, holidays and more. Oh boy, I thought, eager to relive the old days with so many loved ones who have passed away.

There was some of that, but most of the pictures were of my cousins and their kids. Three cousins, five kids, three spouses of the kids at every age from newborn to young adult. So many group photos. Moms pregnant, moms at baby showers, moms holding their babies, moms, dads and grandparents with tiny gap-toothed kids of varying heights. The passing generations of parents to children to their children. Soon these young adults will be having their own offspring, and the cyle will go on with baby pictures, first communions, graduations, weddings, and more baby pictures. Of course the people who took the pictures, cousins whom I treasure even though I rarely see them, would focus mostly on their own families. My own photo albums have pictures of my family, although lately I haven’t taken very many.

These days, my photos tend to be of old barns, flowers, bridges, trees, and dogs. If I had children, I suppose I’d be snapping photos of them incessantly and proudly foisting them on relatives who would display them on their pianos, end tables and bookshelves. But I don’t have that kind of photos. A few stepchild photos here and there, but not many.

I did find some wonderful shots on the CD-rom of my grandmother, my mother and aunts and uncles who have passed away. There were a couple from my wedding and some that showed me the way I used to look. So young! I will save these pictures and love them. But the generations stop with me. I don’t fit into the family picture the way my cousins do. I’m different. It makes me sad.

Do you know what I mean? Do you feel that way sometimes? Like the one looking on from afar?

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5 thoughts on “Is That What I was Supposed to Do?

  1. I know what you mean and I have two children – however I have no sisters, brothers, cousins, uncles or aunts. No-one to send me extended “family photos”. Jan.

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  2. I know what you mean. I think of going into other people's homes and seeing all the pictures of their family on the wall – kids, kids, kids. We have pictures of us, our dog and the gardens. It's just another area where we are left out.

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  3. In our family, things don't work that easily.
    Of my fathers 5 siblings, only he and another aunt had children. I have two female cousins. One has neither a husband nor children. the other is married and has adopted a child after failing to become pregnant even with extended medical help.
    on my mothers side, i have only one uncle. My mum didn't grow up with her parents (a long sad story there) but with her aunt and 3 cousins. of the three cousins, they all had a family: the youngest has 3 children and is now divorced. The oldest got married and had two children in the “standard” way – these people are so “standard” that neither i nor my mum can really share their way and outlook on life :-). The middle cousin split up with his girlfriend when they were in their late 30ies, with no kids. he then had kids with his new wife. Those kids are still very young. as for my “real” uncle, he is arrived at wife nr. 3 by now and around the fifth child (some from wife nr.2) – very young cousins i don't know at all, since i have contact with this uncle only about every ten years.

    My sister is 36 and lives with her boyfriend, but no children yet.

    Sometimes i just think that there's a “bug” somewhere in the “clan” – both “clans” really. I sometimes really yearn for a close extended family. cousins my age, uncles and aunties and grandparents who were close to me . I have none of that. And i wanted to create a family myself, and it didn't work out either.

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