We had a rocky start, my dad and I. I only lived in the same state
as he did for the first 8 years of my life. This picture is of him, my aunt Sandra, my uncle, David, and my cousin Teresa.
They all live in California and I don't get to see them very often. My aunt Sandy is trying to help me piece together
what she remembers about growing up with her parents, Ella Rose and Mel, and telling me more about her grandparents, Marianne
and Domingo Santos. My father thinks I'm just obsessed. Hmph. :-)
I always pictured having big family dinners. For this one moment in time, my dream came true. I hope this happens more often,
it is so great to get the family together for an afternoon. My great-aunt Marge heads the table, followed by Dan, Sally,
Caden, me and my mom. The folks you can barely see are Richard, Lela (my mom's in-laws), Chandi (my cousin) and my aunt Donna.
I think I blame television for giving me such a sugar-coated distorted view of what an "ideal" family should be
like. I don't think I'm the only one, either. Take a look at tv in the 1950s with "Father Knows Best" and "Ozzie
and Harriet" and "Leave it to Beaver". Those shows portrayed families that weren't real. Even in the 50's,
families weren't like that. Of course, I didn't know that, I didn't grow up in the 50's. But I did grow up watching television,
and had my own skewed shows about perfect families. "The Cosby Show", "Family Ties", "Silver Spoons",
"Growing Pains", "Diff'rent Strokes", "Mr. Belvedere" and "Who's the Boss?" all had
some semblance of what families could be like. They weren't perfect, but they were functional. Not like MY family. And,
to my surprise, not like any of my friends' families, either. But those shows planted a seed of what family COULD be like.
And those expectations are too high for anyone with my blood to achieve. We can't solve our problems in a half hour (20
minutes with commercials) no matter how much I wish we could. And there's no theme music to exaggerate the mood. And it's
hard to look someone in the face when you're telling them how disappointed you are with their decisions, or how much you love
them but are not willing to be their doormat.