Into My Heart’s Memory

I pity the person who did not have a large family while growing up: no sisters, no brothers, no cousins, for I had it all. These are my female cousins (there is a similar photo with all the males)–although a few are missing because they weren’t born yet–at a typical family picnic at Grandma and Grandpa’s.

I don’t remember the day, the day this photo was taken. It could’ve been any of the numerous holidays–all spent at our grandparents’s, our all-day affairs:

We’d have large pots of Filipino food, pots we’d leave warming all day, along with traditional barbecue fare: hot dogs and hamburgers and macaroni salad.

We’d sing from Uncle Tony’s Mitch Miller songbooks or his  Peter, Paul and Mary albums. Or we’d sing from Auntie Del’s binder of typewritten lyrics of songs from musicals.  And Daddy’s Harry Belafonte records–there isn’t a lyric with which we are unfamiliar.

Inevitably, the conversations would become heated when the subject turned to politics, but that’s the way it is in big families.

Long after the sun began to set,  the cards or mah jong tiles would appear–the aunties sitting around kibitzing, we cousins keeping occupied with whatever nonsense humored us at the moment.

This is just a minute fraction of the story of us, la familia que adoro, la famila que abrigo.

.© Teresita Abad Doebley. All rights reserved 2009-2011

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