my family memories series – episode one.

My beautiful grandmother had ten kids. Yes, ten kids. Nowadays, it seems impossible to accomplish such a feat. But my grandparents managed to raise them all, as many other families of their generation did. Families can be hard and a lot of trouble but blood ties are strong. We all share the same origins and we all have something that unites us, no matter what. However, we have been through a lot. I suppose that’s what happens in a family. Some things are hard to let go but one needs to see past through them and try to put ourselves in each other’s shoes. Nevertheless, I do have some issues that I cannot let go. At least it’s a “what you see, is what you get” kind of family. But I still don’t know how some traits run in the family.

I miss my uncles. A lot. The last couple of years were hard on our family. My dad is the only man left. My grandmother gave birth to five baby girls and five baby boys.  My dad is the youngest and he has a twenty-year gap from his elder sister. Even not having the closest relationships with them, they were my family and they are part of my memories. But there’s one uncle I cannot forget. And it breaks my heart as I write this. My uncle João was the kindest and funniest man. I have his bad temper. And some of his anxiety. I still remember that my uncle always took his tablets mixed in his soup as he thought they wouldn’t go down any other way. When my dad crossed his hell a couple of years ago, I completely stopped eating solids. Nothing could go down my throat. It was as if someone was strangling me. At least I got to shed some pounds and I looked hotter than ever.

I haven’t been to Faro, where my aunt lives in their home. I don’t how I will react when I get there. My uncle as soon as he knew we were going to visit them, he waited for us in his balcony, waving at our arrival. I cannot image how hard this has been on my parents. They visit my aunt a couple of times a year. I received a letter from my aunt this Christmas and it made me cry on how she appreciates my parents’ friendship. But I still cannot get to picture my dad sitting alone on that balcony.

I have good memories. Really good ones. Despite all the sh*t that all families go through, we are family. I still remember all the holidays that we spent with my uncle Rogério and aunt Celina, travelling from one end to the other of Portugal. I still remember all the Saturday dinners at my uncle Emílio and aunt Avelina. And I will never forget my uncle João at his balcony waiting for us.

Not all are mentioned here but I will share more in the weeks to come. I am very proud of my beautiful and caring grandmother Bela whose memories are the strongest that I have. I am very proud of my grandfather Albertino who ran his mechanic shop and made my dad love cars. I am very proud to be a Fernandes. And I want to share our story with the generations to come. Yes, to embarrass my kids is my ultimate goal.

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