When you get to the milestone of 30 years of age, there is the likelihood of having a Mary Poppins’ bag of things you’ve lost along the way, and things that you miss, sometimes dearly.

Of all the things that I have lost in my years; in thinking about this post, it is that which is family-centric that I miss the most.

I miss my aunt and my godparents

These are people whom I lost long before I was ever ready to say goodbye. When my aunt moved to Florida to live with her daughter, my godmother, I took it for granted that I would see her again. Less than two months later, they were both gone.

Then my godfather suffered a heart attack two years later. We had discussed me going down to visit him in Virginia when my career and move to the city were settled, but he was gone before that could happen.

I miss my grandparents

I miss vacations with my grandparents to Florida before family ties became strained. We would fish in the canal, bring home crabs for dinner, and visit beaches and attractions around the Tampa area.

Most of the memories created with my grandparents during my childhood are sensitive subjects. Summertime visits, putting flowers in my grandma’s hair, Red Lobster dinners, making wontons in their Chinatown apartment, and nights spent there while my parents were out, have stayed with me decades later.

Perhaps it’s because of the recent passing of my grandfather that I find myself recalling all of the times that my father’s side of the family was happier.

I miss a female relative

While I am not ready, not do I know that I will ever be ready, to divulge the details of a recent incident, I miss someone who used to be close to me and is now little more than a stranger.

Life happens, obstacles arise, and people change, but I wasn’t ready to completely say goodbye to the person I thought I knew. The changes that I have witnessed have robbed me of all of the good memories created throughout my life with this woman. People will tell me to remember the good times and try to be supportive, but at this point in my coping process, I simply can’t. One day, I hope to be the bigger lady, and handle this with a more rational and less emotional approach.

I miss my childhood family memories

All major holidays, birthdays, events, and milestones were spent with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. My childhood memories created and thus, the ideas and images associated with family titles were so pure, innocent, happy, and untainted.

With the loss of family and the deterioration of connections during the course of the last two decades, I find myself missing the family-centric happiness and laughter more than other losses of my life.

Hold on to your family, don’t take anyone for granted. When you lose them, you lose part of yourself, more so than with the loss of friends, relationships, and property.