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This week we asked you to write a memoir piece beginning with the words, “I miss my childhood”.

We also asked you to keep it to 500 words. Just a reminder word count limits are there for a reason: to help you self-edit, and also to help our community members read more than a post or two.

Here’s mine–

I miss my childhood because I had all my family around me then. Most of the people in my childhood are dead and gone now. We lived with my grandma for almost nine years when I was a child. I was grandma’s pet. Ask my brother, he’ll tell you. He always reminded me, and usually sarcastically. Now, that brother is the only one left, and his health is poor.

My maternal grandmother was my very favorite person on this earth. She took me for a cable car ride before they became extinct in Detroit where I grew up because she wanted me to always remember them. I do remember! She bought me Hershey candy bars each and every night, spoiled brat, such as I was. Once I told my brother, probably after he told me I was grandma’s pet. He told my parent’s, and Grandma had to stop buying me candy bars. Instead, she bought one for my brother, too. I would sit on her cedar chest in her bedroom and break the candy bar into ten little pieces, and look out at the flashing light atop the Fischer Building downtown.

There was an older brother in my life. He was sent away to live with my paternal grandmother, to help her out in her old age. He was nine years older than I. Every now and then he’d pop in and out of my life, visit for a short time, then go again. Eventually, he went in the army and our visits were far apart until I became an adult. He passed away not long ago, leaving behind two grown children I’m not in touch with.

My Uncle Eddie and Aunt Maxine were like my second parents, and I loved them as much and even more sometimes. I spent a lot of time with them. They had two sons, my cousins Brad and Scott. Scott passed away almost a year ago. It’s so sad that my youngest cousin is gone.

I mentioned my paternal grandmother, the one my brother went to live with. We weren’t close when I was a child, I think because we lived so far apart. Uncle Bud and Aunt Doris lived near Grandma up north. I have six cousins to them. I’m close to two of them, the only other girl in the family, Rosie, and her brother, Larry, the youngest of all the cousins now. We seldom saw each other growing up.

My immediate family consists of my two sons and me. I remain close to my brother Chuck, my sister-in-law Sandy, and two nephews, Kevin and Ron. My cousin Brad and I are still close like we’ve always been. Together we stay in touch with our up north cousins. We had fun with no cares or concerns. It’s no different than many other families, but still so many people are gone, and this is why I miss my childhood.