Growing up, I had two favorite uncles (one on my paternal side of the family and one on the maternal side), and a favorite aunt. As a kid, you don’t know that you could potentially hurt your other family members feelings because of your “favoritism”. You just knew you loved your favorites to pieces, and that they meant the absolute world to you.
My paternal uncle was my favorite uncle because he took time with me. He talked to me about life and some of the do’s and don’t. Even though I hadn’t entered that arena of life yet, he was preparing me for what was to come. There were times when he would ride me on his back up and down my grandmother’s stairs and run through the house with me on his back, even though he would have been in major trouble with his mother had she known of the shenanigans that went on behind her back. It was the best fun ever as I squealed with delight every single time he did this. He taught me how to ride my bike for which I’ll always be grateful. He was even supposed to teach me how to swim but, unfortunately, he was murdered before he had the opportunity to do so. This happened in February of 1972, and I was absolutely devastated. I cried and cried, and cried some more. I can remember saying why couldn’t it have happened to someone else in my family and, at that time, I didn’t really care who it was. I was 11 1/2 years old, and I felt like the world had stopped — that it had come to a screeching halt. How was I to deal with the fact that he was no longer with us? Even though, my uncle was put to rest over 40 years ago, it still has an impact on me as I miss him, and occasionally wonder what our relationship would be like today. It might sound strange, but I can still remember the outfit that I wore to his funeral as if it were a few short years ago. I believe I mentioned my Uncle Larry in a previous blog; he was the one who was so proud to show off his niece (me) that, when he played the guitar with Chuck Berry in Atlantic City (before it was a casino; I was only 2), he had my grandmother bring me to the stage. Being 2-years-old, I was absolutely terrified and cried something awful, from what I’m tol
Then, there was my maternal uncle — Oronde (couldn’t find any pictures of him). I was a bit older when he became my favorite. He used to take us rollerskating every Wednesday at Painters Mill back in the day. He loved to have fun, and wanted us to be a part of it. He used to also go camping, which I never wanted to be a part of — I’m not an outside kind of gal, LOL! He was also the type who wanted to get into your head to find out what made you tick, and if it didn’t make sense he would tell you as much. Unfortunately, he is also no longer with us either.
One of my paternal aunts was my favorite aunt. The funny thing is she used to live 100’s of miles away, but we had that connection. I could talk to her about anything, and she would listen and advise. As I got older, and my situations changed, she would always tell me that she was praying for me because she wanted me to be happy and wanted the best for me. I remember a time she told me that she’s glad that we didn’t live near each other because we’d both be in trouble because of our personalities because it would be on when we had enough of people’s foolishness. We laughed about that as we shared many things. Sadly, her health is declining now that she’s in her mid-80’s. I have to admit it’s extremely difficult to see someone who was once so alive and vibrant seemingly waste away right before your very eyes. Even though we know our loved ones are getting older, as are we, we never process the fact that one day their health will begin to fail and it will be their time to cross over.
As I mentioned my favorites, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love my other family members; they are all wonderful human beings and I love every single one of them — I just had my picks.
Some parents even have their favorite child or children, but try their best not to because they don’t want the other kids to feel like they aren’t loved as equally or at all. In all fairness, though, sometimes you spend more time with one child than the others because they might have health or behavioral issues that dictate that you to do so. However, you try not to have your other children feel neglected, even though they oftentimes do. You honestly love all of your children, just in different ways.
Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t have a favorite and are able to love everyone equally, and that’s really good. I haven’t mastered that as yet. I don’t think my favorites actually knew they were or the “special” role they played in my life. Let’s just say, “I kept it on the down low”. Do I, personally, think it’s okay to have a favorite — absolutely because it’s nothing wrong with sharing and letting people know how much you love them and what they mean to you.