A Family Homecoming and a Family Leave-taking

Today we had another family party.  They used to seem pretty commonplace.  Almost every month, we would have a family get together for that month’s birthdays.  There can be a lot of them when you get 30 or so people together.

 Family Gathering in the OC

One of the nice things about our gatherings is that it’s not just the family; “the kids” (15-21 years old) usually have numerous friends who love to join us, simply adding to the gathering.  The result is that we’ve gotten to know many of their friends nearly as well as we do the family and have watched them grow over the years as well.

 Boy in Box

Tonight, it was a totally different feel.   One of my brothers has decided to move his family across country.  He feels it will be better for them.


His two, young adult children, both of who live at home and attend school, want to stay here in Southern California, this is home to them, where they grew up, where the rest of their friends and family are.


For my niece, she is hoping that the move will be temporary, that she’ll be able to save some money up over the next six months, reposition herself and come home, permanently.


My nephew on the other hand is still hanging on to the hope that he can make a go here despite the fact that his parents are leaving in less than a week.


Tonight was both sad and happy.  My brother’s been gone a couple of months working on their new home, and it was nice to have him home, but it was also sad knowing that our family get togethers are going to be missing a big chunk of people.


They should all be coming back in September for a wedding, but our get togethers will no longer be the same.


Would it seem strange if I added that this group is actually my stepfamily, and that I’ve been part of it for only 15 years or so?  It doesn’t to us.  Mom raised us to believe family is family, regardless of how it comes together.


My husband has been part of my life for 12 years, and he doesn’t remember my family before them.


Fact is, I almost don’t remember a time before them, and I’m so happy they’ve become such an integral part of our lives and am sad to see any of them moving so far away that they’ll no longer be a short car ride away.


Who do you count as family, and how do you keep in touch with them?



About the author: Christine Donovan is a California Residential Real Estate Broker with experience in assisting clients buy and sell residential real estate.

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