Growing up, I spent a lot of time at various relatives houses. For the first chunk of my childhood, my mother’s entire side of the family lived within fairly close proximities of one another. As a young child, I never really thought much about visits to my grandmother’s house, or the three minute walk to my aunt and uncle’s house when I had became restless and wanted something to do. Maybe it came with age, or maybe the cliché that, “You don’t know what you have until you have lost it”, is true…but one way or another I was forced to realize just how fortunate I had been for most of my childhood.
When I was nine years old, my grandmother died. She and I were extremely close and, even though she would never admit it, I was her favorite grandchild of the six. With this being said, her passing hit me hard, to say the least. Now, her death did not come as a complete surprise to the rest of the family. She had been battling different forms of Cancer for almost ten years by that point. But of course, as a little girl, I never saw any of that. It’s true that to have ignorance is bliss, and as a young child, I was of no short supply.
After her death, my grandfather was devastated, naturally. My aunt, my grandfather’s oldest, found him a job selling cars at a dealership out in Phoenix, Arizona. She reassured him that there would be plenty of people his age there with similar interests, and he was sure to love it. We all helped him pack up the moving van and saw him off as he ventured to the desert of new beginnings.
Later that year, my aunt applied for relocation to her company’s firm in Arizona. Her transfer was accepted and we were all notified of her family’s relocation later that week at dinner. The rest of that evening was a somber one. It was bad enough that we had lost grandma, and relocated grandpa… but now my aunt, uncle and cousin would be leaving too. My mother was upset for weeks after she received the news that her older...