Nope. I REFUSE TO SUCCUMB TO YOUR CONFORMIST WAYS!
There is NO way I can choose just one person that I wish lived closer. The first and most obvious answer is my PJ! But he’ll be here soon enough. I wish my grandparents lived closer. All of my family really. All of my dad’s family is in Buffalo, where he grew up, and I mean all of them. His parents, his two brothers and their wives, his sister and her husband, nieces, nephews, cousins, family friends… Okay, ONE of his nephews and his wife moved to Florida a few years back, but the vast majority of my dad’s family is all in western New York. We usually end up going up there once a year, at Christmas or Easter or a family reunion… But it’s hard. I mean, my grand parents are literally the best grandparents anyone has ever had.
I didn’t get a chance to really get to know my mom’s parents. They moved to the US from Canada when my mom was four, she actually grew up in a small town called Batavia about 45 minutes outside of Buffalo where my dad grew up! (They didn’t meet until 1984 when they were both stationed here in VA though.) Anyways, my mom’s parents split up when she was a young adult, and when I knew them, my grandfather was living in Indiana and my grandmother was back in Canada. I only really have one memory each of either of them, but they’re vague because I was so young. It’s weird because the memory of my grandfather is a little clearer, but I think I visited with my grandmother more recently… (Mom, correct me if I’m wrong!!) They really are vague memories, more like living snapshots… I have one scene in my mind that I remember with them, but nothing goes before or after it.. With my grandfather I feel like I remember his house. Like if you showed me 10 snapshots of houses, I might be able to pick his out even though I haven’t been there in at LEAST 18 years. I just remember how tall he was. I know he was a pretty tall guy, but I’m sure he just seemed unnaturally tall because I would have been so small. I feel like I remember a piano and a spare bedroom with two twin beds. Just don’t have much. My grandmother was living in some sort of assisted living/nursing home type place, and I remember her sitting in what might have been a wheelchair, and I was sitting on the floor…
I wish I had gotten the chance to have tried to get to know them better before they passed away, but all I can do is be happy that they somehow managed to produce the most important woman in my life, and that speaks more about them any of the stories I’ve heard could manage to. It also makes sure I get up to Buffalo every opportunity I get so that I don’t miss out on anything with the grandparents I still have! My mom has a brother who passed away a year ago, and while I have a handful of memories of him, I didn’t get to know him very well either. Through the power of Facebook though, I’ve gotten to keep in touch with my mom’s neice and her family even though they live in Canada, and that’s really important to me. The relatives that live closest to us are my mom’s sister’s, Lynne, and my namesake; Brenda. My Aunt Lynne lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and my Aunt Brenda in North Carolina with hers. It’s SO nice to have family that we can actually see on a semi-regular basis! I mean, my mom regularly meets my aunt Brenda halfway between their two houses for lunch every once in a while, and we get to see my Aunt Lynne pretty much whenever we feel like making the drive or she does. My mom’s sisters are two of the most fascinating and entertaining women I know, and I just love that they’re so close by.
Even with Buffalo being a 12 hour drive away, none of our family is so far away that getting to them in a reasonable amount of time would be too much of an issue. Nothing like living in Louisiana! I think that’s why being in Louisiana was so hard for me. I was so used to only having to get in a car and drive for half a day to see family, but with living in Louisiana you either need 2 days to drive or a plane ticket. PJ working for the airlines made it better, we got to fly standby super cheap… It’s going to be tough not getting to go back to Louisiana to see his mom and his sisters any time we want.
I wish EVERYONE lived closer.