I don't have much of it… at least not family I know of or I am in contact with. People say: it's not the quantity that counts, it's the quality… but I seem to have been blessed with… Neither.
Ok, exception made of "het gezin". I have great parents, and a sister whom I love to death. Add to that my lovely daughter and I am done.
So I have decided to extend the concept of family to my ex-inlaws in Brasil, my dad's new soulmate, my sister's future husband, my adoptive daughter Lais and my neighbors Valentine, Gregory and their kids. (If you would like to apply send me a personal message and I will organise a casting soon ;-) )
I do have real family, with related blood running through their veins.
On my dad's side, we have alienated a long time ago. I think it had to do with the fact that they were living quite far away from us, that my dad was significantly younger then his brother and sisters and effectively fell between 2 generations. The "coup de grace" came when the small town boy moved to Africa with his family. They never understood and the distance did the rest. My dad's mum, whom I didn't meet because she had passed away shortly before I was born, never saw the sea… and she lived less then 2hours drive away from it!
My mum has a brother and a sister, both aren't married and have no children. So my sister and I are the only ones of our generation in the family. My fantastic grandmother who passed away was the last one to hold everyone together. She ruled the family and made sure we would all come together regularly to celebrate religious events, birthdays etc. Now she has gone and the family is falling apart. I regret her even more.
My dad claims that they always were like that, I am just disappointed. Spending those years in Africa made me a real family person.
Luckily I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my grandmother. I called her Bompi. It all came from a very misplaced Oedipus complex: I didn't have any grandfather growing up and desperately wanted one. So I would look for a potential man for my grandmother and address anyone who looked old to me (I probably was 5 or so at the time), asking them to marry my grandmother. Hopefully they thought I was cute.
I didn't manage to find her soul-mate ;-) so I started to call my grandmother "Bompa" which means grand father. That kind of upset her though, as she was a very proud and coquette WOMAN. So I twisted it and invented "Bompi".
I have called my grand mother Bompi for the rest of her life and other people caught on (like my sister and other relatives)… Bompi has gone, but I will remember so much of what she taught me.
She used to say to me: "don't be so tough on men… they can't help it, they need us. you have to take care of them and remember that their love goes through their stomach" (and their lower abdominal area, LOL). She would always be very proud to visit me at my place and notice that it was spotless and fit to receive friends and relatives. I would eagerly try to impress her with my cooking skills… Oh boy, I miss her!!
So here it is: a little post in memory of my beautiful, intelligent, independent and proud Bompi!
PS: Thank God for my dear Friends! On my way to Geneva.. Missing you all.