My favorite memories as a child were family gatherings with my cousins on both sides of my family and my grandparents. We had large families on both sides and we all knew each other well. Nowadays, families don’t know each other or get together often as a whole. After a family reunion, I had someone reach out and tell me they almost dated one of my sons. They were distant cousins! I have lots of little cousins who have had children and I have never met them. Thank God for Facebook because I get to see them growing up through their posts. Does your family keep in touch like you did when you were younger? Let’s talk about it…

Gene A. Gomez: “Not at All. And our family is huge!! It’s really sad”

Sandra Luna Perez: “Not like I would like. It’s so sad that the only time you see relatives is at a funeral.”

Norma Sanchez Martinez: “The sad thing is all our family is distant from each other and we only gather together during funerals and it shouldn’t be that way when my Grandma Esperanza and Grandpa Francisco were alive everyone and I mean everyone gathered at their house. We had cookouts, or my grandma made menudo or some other meal and everyone showed up. All of us cousins were so close now I’m lucky if I even see one. The only way most of us keep in touch is through social media if that. Oh how I wish things could be like it use to be.My kids don’t even know a lot of their cousins, uncles, or aunts or my family’s kids don’t even know me”

Annabelle Perez Martinez: “I too have a large unknown family. Sad but true”

Chris Castillo: “I wish we did keep in touch and have gatherings like when growing up. Now it’s basically through fb as opposed to in person get togethers. It’s sad because as cousins we’d gather at our grandma’s house for holidays etc. No more grandma and no more gatherings. My grandmother was known on the Westside for her extravagant Christmas decorations. The place to visit was her house on 24th and Travis. We loved it during Christmas. Miss the good old days with my family.”

Sally Keen: “Yes, when I was young until about 6 of 7, my mom’s family (she had 2 sisters and 3 or 4 brothers, I think) and we all seemed to me to be very close. We had big family picnics and we all attended my Grandfather’s church together, I knew and played with my cousins. Mostly my Aunt Sally & Auntie Leecha kids cuz I think the other cousins were much older, but we hung out with our cousins. But for my family that all stopped about age 7. Auntie Leecha moved out west, and then Papa too. Now I really only barely know my Aunt Sally’s kids by face. I would not even recognize any of my other cousins if I saw them on the street . My older siblings know more of them. Lydia Curran and Davey especially so.”

Trisha Ann Mendiola: “My heart breaks everyday at the loss of the old ways. I have a difficult time dealing with the loss of my relationships with both my brother and sister. Those hurt the most.”

Ray Nuñez: “My family doesn’t either. It’s a shame. I’ve even had so called family not do the proper thing and just talk, but things are what they are now. Just take it day by day. Always pray everyone well regardless.”

Jazmin D Zuñiga: “Family? Nowadays even our children have lost the sense of what a family is. I have a large family and it’s sad to say some nieces got married and only the husband’s family is who they see; not even their grandma(my mom)do they visit. Now it’s the chisme, envy, hypocrisy and the hate in families. People are hurting each other! Yesterday on the news, a guy killed his brother. This world is out of control. Family is those that stick around for better or for worse and luckily some are not blood related, to me that’s the meaning of family.”

Manny Santana Montilla: “We are a military family so the concept of family became bonding with people we didn’t know existed. It’s made better people for my children since they are more accepting and well rounded kids that see the world colorless and raceless. Though they have felt out of place when dealing with families that grew up together and are more territorial and maintain inner circles that just can’t be broken from outsiders like us. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. There is always one more hill to climb. But I’m proud of their accomplishments both in and out of the military. They are doing great things for their childrens’ and families’ futures.”