extended family

All about how to stay connected, strengthen ties and talk politics with your big, happy extended family.

  • M F
    Published 3 days ago
    An Open Letter to My Girlfriend’s Mom.

    An Open Letter to My Girlfriend’s Mom.

    This is a thank you meant for you...
  • Hakeem Simmons
    Published 6 days ago
    Living with a Narcissist

    Living with a Narcissist

    The reason I decided to add a trigger warning is because I am a straight male and we live in an age where so much can be assumed about me just because I am male . I am a sociologist in North America, and I think at this point it’s important to understand that just because I say no to something it’s not because I have any biases towards anybody and yes I have been aggravated by a female, but the difference between being bitter and being me is that I have not given up on myself , humanity or the goodness of other men and women. Sorry , but I had to make a disclaimer to cover all the slanderous comments internet trolls like to leave below content that could threaten their narrative.
  • Rochelle Harper
    Published 14 days ago
    Plans Change

    Plans Change

    Beaches, parks, malls, stores, restaurants, golf courses...all within
  • Anna Spano Guarino
    Published 15 days ago
    Cuba 2016

    Cuba 2016

    A cousin is diagnosed with stage four breast cancer and wants to go back to Cuba. She wants to bring the dog she left at her mother-in-law’s house, to the beach for the first time. The phone rings at 6:00 am that morning. I answer my cell to a frantic voice on the other end. She says “I had a dream last night and haven’t been able to go back to sleep since. I have been trying to figure out how to make it happen and I need your help.”. Still a little dazed I answered “Sure, What’s up?”. She replies “In my dream I was able to bring Thor to the beach. I have not had a chance to do that yet. I know he will just love it. Sorry for calling so early but this has been on my bucket list since my diagnosis. Will you come to Cuba with me so I can do this?”. A little more awake now, I say “of course! But have you talked to your doctors and when do we leave?”. Fast forward to a beach in Cuba with a sick cousin who has lost all her hair and her oh so happy dog. Thor is frolicking in the water and running through the sand. My cousin is enjoying every minute of it from her towel on the beach. She can’t move much without hurting but watching her dog have the kind of fun she knew he would brings the biggest smile to her face. She forgets her pain for just that one perfect moment. She looks down at the sand and sees a sea shell. The sea shell in this picture. She holds it up for me so I can take a picture of it. The years that pass aren't so easy. I try to be there for my cousin who is going through so much. Fast forward now to 2019. I get to hold my cousin’s hand in the hospital before her last dying breaths. The hand that held that small shell those few years before. That picture reminds me that I was a small part of getting her to Cuba to cross that item off her bucket list and the happiness that trip to rustic Cuba brought her. I did not edit that photo and left it as raw as she was at the time. I hope one day to get that image tattooed near my breast as a symbol of love and respect for the woman that battled a disease that robs so many of a normal life. Some survive and some do not, but my cousin will live on in my heart forever and so will the moments that brought us together. I feel fortunate to have been a part of a life that was cut so short. Fortunate to have had my camera with me to capture that moment in time that I can never get back. Someone once asked me why I take so many pictures when I’m out in nature and why can’t I just put my camera down and enjoy the moment. First off, for me, viewing the world through my camera is me living in the moment. Secondly, I can call up those images anytime I want, to relive those moments over and over again. Something that will be more precious to me as my actual memories fade. There are photos that make me smile, some that make me cry and some that invoke emotions that only a certain photo can provide like the one I have shared with you here today. So let’s capture many more of those photos in life! Photos full of colour, meaning and love, now and always!
  • Sandy Austin
    Published about a month ago
    Gone again

    Gone again

    Carlita’s, my niec, birthday isn’t on February 7th. She wanted to go back to Las Vegas. We had planned to go. Stayce, my other niece and Carlita’s sister contacted the condo where she had a timeshare, and could not get the 7 th, but got the 9th thru the 13th. They are both daughters of Cherry.
  • Virginia Green
    Published about a month ago
    Hey

    Hey

    Hey there! Your friend Gin is back!
  • Pamela Dirr
    Published 2 months ago
    Family IS FOREVER

    Family IS FOREVER

    Family is everything. Family is more than friendship. Family is the only group of people who you have in your life since the day you were born. “They” say don’t ever take your family for granted. I wholeheartedly believe in that. No matter how far away you might live from your family members - whether it’s 15 minutes, or 15 hours - never lose contact with your family members. Having friends is great; but friendships can end at any time. Although family members may fight at times, they’re still your family. Cherish them all the time. Keep in touch with them.
  • Niki Hebert
    Published 2 months ago
    The Christmas Miracle

    The Christmas Miracle

    From the time my mother was a little girl, she always knew she was adopted. She always wanted to know where she came from and who her biological family is. She was born in 1956 and was adopted at eight months old from St. Vincent's in New Orleans, Louisiana. My mother was born there because this was a home for unwed mothers.
  • DeRicki Johnson
    Published 2 months ago
    My Granny Packed A Pistol

    My Granny Packed A Pistol

    My true name is...well, we don't know each other well enough for that. Do we? So, in the interest of "getting to know one another," let's grab the rudder of the SS Friendship and take a different tack.
My given name is DeRicki Johnson.
I know it is an unusual name...strange...because, whenever I sign up for things like email accounts at Yahoo, MSN, or Google, I can always use my name without having to accept some dumb automatically generated alias like "DeRicki4889". The first time I ever tried it, Yahoo was claiming 25 million subscribers, and yet it took my first name for an email address just as cool as if I was present for the birth of the Internet, or something. Don't bother trying to email me at that address, though, I dumped it years ago.
As far as I know, "DeRicki" is not a family name. I think my given name was just a whim of the person who named me. Maybe that would be a good way to tell you about myself. I will tell you a story about my grandmother and me.
My late grandmother is the one who named me.
My mom had me when she was still in high school. She joined the army just after I was born. Back in those days it was quite scandalous to have a child out of wedlock, so my grandmother, Maudie, and her current husband, Albert Johnson, adopted me...rescuing me from the shame and stigma of being raised a "bastid chile."
I have never met my natural father. He is supposed to have been some itinerant civil rights worker who passed through Fort Worth with a group on a quest to win for blacks the same rights as white Americans. I have been told his last name was Christmas. I don't think I have ever been told the whole truth about my birth father…so, I am not really sure about this. Don't get me wrong. I don't hate mom or phantom dad...if it were not for their bit of unsanctioned connubial felicity, well, I wouldn't be here. Only God can judge her, him, or me. And that's all I'm going to say about that...
As a young woman, my grandma moved to the big city of Fort Worth, TX from the small country town of Tyler back in the 1930s, and immediately began working to earn money to bring her family to the big city, one person at a time.
I loved and feared my granny. She was a larger-than-life person. I recalled her as an independent woman, tough but fair, who carried a .38 caliber pistol in her purse until the day she died. Some time I might tell you about my adventure getting caught going through the metal detector at DFW airport with granny and her "loaded" purse. But, as they say, "that's a story for another day."
Apparently, she wasn't afraid to use her pistol, either.
Family legend has it that she shot one of her philandering husbands in the ass, while he attempted to flee through downtown Fort Worth after being caught in a somewhat compromising, not to mention, perverted, position. I never met that husband, but I have always admired his quick thinking...after all; getting shot in the butt at least meant he had the clarity of mind to RUN!
Grandma Maudie married four times. Her fourth husband, Albert Johnson, is the one who gave me his name. Albert was younger than my granny, and I remember him as being very, very cool. He always had the dopest rides, with the thumping-est stereos. As a young boy growinng toward puberty, the high point of any visit back to Fort Worth was cruising the hoods as grandpa Albert holler'd at various neighborhood notables from behind the wheel of his latest chariot sublime. Beep-beep.
My grandmother raised me until I was 5, and my mom, who was married with two children by then, came back for me. During those 5 years my grandmother taught me many things, one of her most clearly remembered lessons was the importance of being independent.
The clearest memory I have of one of her lessons on "independence" is one that occurred on a partcularly warm and sunny North Texas summer afternoon. The lesson came after one my frequent rides to the grocery store with granny. I was perhaps four years old at the time - yet too young to realize what a rare accomplishment it was for an African American to own a car. Come to think of it - yet too young to realize I was African-American, for that matter.
We - my granny and I - had a well established tradition, a ritual, that at the end of such excursions Granny would come around to my door and open it. Then I would follow her into the house.
But, this particular day was different.
This fateful day, she turned to me, her arms full of groceries, and said, "You're old enough to open your own door. Open it and come inside."
Wha-what...WHAT? Open my own door? Was this woman flirting with insanity?
I was outraged at this seemingly cruel and unfair breach of established protocol, and let her know it by promptly throwing a temper tantrum. From her retreating back came her reply, "Crying won't help. Come inside when you figure it out."
The audacity of this woman, I thought.
Well, maybe not in those exact words…after all, I was only four. But, I was plenty shocked and angry. So, I stubbornly jumped up and down in my seat and turned up the tears; managing, after some time, to cry myself asleep.
When I awoke, the sun had set. A gentle evening breeze rustled the leaves in the yard's great old trees. The back door's screen glowed with a warm yellow light, and soft adult voices murmured through the open kitchen door.
When I awoke, I was different. I had cried myself to sleep, a baby. But, I awoke a self-reliant human being.
When I awoke, I opened the car door and I walked to the house. I was hungry.
-dj

  • Rich Monetti
    Published 3 months ago
    Nonni Exuded Peace and Contentment while having Plenty of Smarts

    Nonni Exuded Peace and Contentment while having Plenty of Smarts

    “Two years ago, this shy little miss came to us directly from Italy. She seemed to fit right in, and has distinguished her stay in Classical High School by her good scholarship. We who are acquainted with know her as an excellent little friend, always ready to give any help she can when it is asked for, yet too shy to intrude. Anna says she likes America, and our school very much but some day hopes to return to her beloved native Italy.” So says Nonni’s high school yearbook, and it sounds about right. I said as much at her wake in 2007
  • Christina Minneci
    Published 3 months ago
    The Charm that Unlocked Her Heart

    The Charm that Unlocked Her Heart

    One day while visiting my great grandmother she pulled out a big envelope that jingled in her hands as if it was filled with bells. What was in this magical envelope?
  • Alejandra Rivera Flaviá
    Published 3 months ago
    A Little Map of Hope

    A Little Map of Hope

    Picture this: You’ve just turned eighteen. You’re wearing a long red shirt with a new pair of tight jeans that you very consciously entrusted with boosting your confidence for the day. After years of dreaming about it, you worked your way to reaching a destination that is presently 1,697.41 miles away from home, and you think you’re ready. You think you’re ready in that petulant way teenagers always swear they are… but when your mami implies that she’s finally leaving the room, the fact that you’re not suddenly sneaks up on you.