When thinking about my history; the history of my family, I find myself thinking of places, food and photos. All of these aspects are what I associate with family because for as long as I remember all the family gatherings are surrounded by food, when we were eating, laughing and bonding we take and share photos.
These familial gatherings often take place in a rotation of places, my grandparents’ house, my tía’s house and my cousins houses. I associate all of these memories with a new founding idea for family because I leave every gathering knowing something new. Whether it’s through a story told by my tios, grandparents, or something I witness.
One example was a surprise graduation party we held about a year ago for my tia Pauline. She’s in her 80’s and never received her diploma due to having to drop out of school her senior year with only one unit left to care for her ill mother. My cousins and I have heard this story for years and it’s always had a sad ending with my great grandma dying shortly after.
“This led my older cousins and I to go to the school board and tell my tia’s story about everything that happened. After this meeting they gave us her diploma that they got for her finally and apologized to her by sending a member of the board to present her diploma.”
Finally, we held a surprise graduation for her at my cousin’s house and she was finally presented with the diploma she earned decades ago. It was a very emotional gathering but it was such a healing and lovely ceremony. Gatherings like this are what the core of our family is. They foster the most memorable moments and they bring us closer together. Overall family to me is the most important thing. This sentiment has taken me so long to figure out but now that I’ve realized this, I can’t see anything else.
Storyteller Sammy Vickers writes, “My name is Sammy Vickers. I’m from Santa Barbara and I attend the University of San Diego, in San Diego, California. I’m majoring in sociology with a concentration in Social Justice and my minors are Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies.”