Ya’ll know I herald from an eccentric and big ole Southern family… My husband Perry tells folks my maiden name was Faulkner but that is not true. My father was a Swicegood and mama was a Young. My family tree has so many branches, I recently met a distant cousin online and discovered we’re kin three or four different ways before we reach 6th cousins.
When I was a kid, like most kids, I took my family for granted. Mom and dad really sacrificed so we could have things. We were able to go to college, have our own car to drive, take vacations. Despite my parents’ problems with each other, they really loved and supported their three kids. Still, as I grew up I couldn’t wait to move away from Goat Pasture Road and leave the crazy ways of my family behind. It took me becoming an adult to fully appreciate my family. It took me becoming a grown up to realize family is something “in you” even more than it is people or a place. I couldn’t leave it behind any more than I could leave behind an arm or a leg. No matter where I went, my crazy family with all its stories, and dramas and conflicts seemed to go with me. It took me til middle age to really begin to accept who I am. That’s when all these stories began to pour out of me. I discovered part of me was a writer and decided to call that part of me “The Girl From Goat Pasture Road.”
It’s the truest thing I’ve ever done and I felt like when I began to embrace that, the whole world began to open up and something in my spirit as well.
As an adult, “family” means so much more than it did when I was young. We’ve lost so many family members the last ten years but we’ve also been blessed with new ones. I’ve lost my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins but I’ve gained nieces, great nieces and nephews, cousins, a grand-dog and a daughter in law in September. Growing older is such a privilege because the depth of our living is so much greater. We know life is tenuous and if we are wise, we will live each day with that in mind.
Perry decided last year that my side of the family needed to start a book of our family history, including recipes and photos. He bought each family a large notebook, put their initial on it and we asked that everyone or every family contribute a page each Christmas. This year, I decided to give my page a theme. It centers around my relationship with my three awesome nephews, and how we forged bonds through Christmas memories and traditions that have kept us close to this day. I’m so proud of each of them, their lovely wives and their children. I want them to know and remember me and continue to keep the bonds of love strong and connected in their own families.
I thank you all for your support of my 12 Days of Christmas Blogs. It is a tradition I look forward to every years and I am honored to receive the gift of your time.
December 22, 2015 at 6:37 pm
I love that Perry bought everyone in your family a book to fill with memories. (He kind of sounds like a keeper!)
December 23, 2015 at 12:24 am
Merry Christmas Charlene and I hope you are enjoying having your son home for the holidays. Yes, he’s a good egg and after 31 years I think I’ll keep him. Lol thank you so much .