This Side of the Family

15 Apr

My mom is Filipina-Chinese, born and raised in the Philippines. My father is German-English, born and raised in California. My mother is one of 10 children; my father is one of three. Practically every sibling of theirs has kids, some even have grandkids. Most of my mom’s siblings immigrated to Canada. My dad’s sister was in Northern California, but now they’re all in Colorado.

So we’re spread all over the globe – Canada, Brazil, Colorado, Philippines, China, United Kingdom… I don’t know all of them, and frankly, I probably haven’t met a lot of them.

As I was growing up, my aunt and her son lived in the same apartment complex, and two of my cousins would visit for a long while. But, they soon moved back to Canada permanently and I had no extended family anywhere near us. After my grandmother died on my father’s side, his sister soon after moved to Colorado, leaving no extended family within the same state.

This is how I grew up. I had my friends and my parents; that was basically that.

My grandma has been visiting for a few weeks now and is leaving on Friday. When we heard that her only surviving sibling was visiting her daughter – here in Southern California, just ~50mi south of us – we figured a meetup was in order. We found out that my mom’s cousin (from the Philippines) has been living here for 3 years, teaching general chemistry in South Gate for the LAUSD. Small world.

So last Friday, my parents, my grandma, my grandma’s sister, her two daughters and their husbands, all went out for Chinese food.

So what does this make all these people to me? Second cousins? I have no idea. But I was glad to meet them. Perhaps someday soon, I’ll see them (and the rest of the fam’) in the Philippines.

On a slightly related side-note: I did have a little brother. Karl passed away at 8 days old due to doctor’s error. When little Maddie passed away recently, and a friend was raising donations to the March for Babies, I decided to sign up. I’ll be walking on the March for Maddie team, in honor of Maddie and my brother. Please donate whatever you can, and support our walk for all babies to be born healthy.

My favorite shot of the day:


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