My Life Monday - Week 8 | Toronto Teacher Mom

My Life Monday - Week 8

Monday, July 03, 2006

My Family

There are five people in my immediate family. My parents, who imigrated here from Portugal with nothing but a small suitcase full of clothing and some pocket change, got married in 1972. My dad was able to find a place to live in Toronto after being in the army for several years and was thus able to sponsor my mother, who had no idea how cold it was going to be that fateful day in February. A year after they married, my sister was born. I was born in Hamilton five years later and my brother completed our family four years after that.

My dad has worked as a labourer his entire life. It's pretty cool to be able to say that my dad helped to build part of the Canadian National Railway. Afterwords, he worked in cement finishing for several years before opening up his own company in the same field. My mother found work as a seamstress but after moving to Hamilton, she ended up with a commercial cleaning company where she was overworked and underpaid. She also cleaned homes and apartments during the day. I didn't spend all that much time with her as a kid since she would be leaving for work just as I would be arriving home from school. I remember when I got older that I used to go to work with her after school and travel by bus to all of the office buildings she worked at. I would help her by emptying the waste baskets or vaccuuming. She would always treat me to a caramel sundae, a popsicle, an icee or some other goodie. It didn't matter what; I was easy to please. Now, she only works during the day.

We used to live in downtown Hamilton but looking back it wasn't the best area to grow up in. My grandparents bought that house and we moved to the Hamilton Mountain. I spent most of my life in that new house. I met my dear friend Kelly soon after moving in. Many fond memories were created in that place. But sadly, in 2004, my parents decided to sell our home of 21 years. While we were all excited to move into a bigger and better place, we still found it very hard to say farewell to a home and a neighbourhood that meant so much to us. Given that I have a difficult time dealing with change, it was very tough for me to accept the fact that I would never be able to take my future kids back to see the inside of the home where I grew up. Fortunately, I didn't have much time to focus on that. My bridal shower was booked for three weeks after our move in date and the wedding was only months away. My dad did so much in the short time period to ensure that the house would look presentable enough for our wedding guests.

My sister is married with an adorable 2 year-old boy. She moved away from Hamilton but is only about 15 minutes away from home. She is also a French teacher, just like me. What can I say? We both excelled at French and we just can't get enough. My brother is recently engaged to an incredibly smart woman. He works as an accountant and is dreading his qualification test tomorrow. He plans on getting married in 2008 and moving out to Brantford to be closer to his job. That will leave my mom and dad alone in a big, rather empty house. It's sad because I've always felt a sort of coldness in that house. And I'm sure my mom feels it, too. I mean, it's nice staying over. It's like a virtual bed and breakfast. And we are making many new memories in that house. But it never really feels like home. After moving 6 times in my life, I am certain that I don't want my little girl to experience the same sadness of leaving behind familiar places and people as I have. I want her to forever think of our new house as a home. I want her to be able to bring her future kids back to this place to feel the warmth and comfort I once felt growing up. I really do.

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  1. Wow! I learned a LOT about you from this post! :) Your parents are amazing people! I can't imagine leaving your home country to start new somewhere else! WOW!
    It's hard when your parents move when you're older. It just doesn't quite feel like home when you go to "their" house! (My parents did the same thing!)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing that story! I know a smidge what its like to leave your home country to live in another, but your parents had more to deal with then I did! It sounds like you have a great family!

  3. That was a great story about your family. It must be so great to have such good memories of your childhood, your parents and your family home.

    It was so cool learning more about you!

  4. Its neat to find out more about family isnt it? Thanks for sharing your was interesting!

  5. Thank you for sharing that story...
    Home is where the heart is...
    My parents moved out of our ole house and it just is not the same as the old place...
    Want to go back to the good ole days of that home...
    But am happy with creating memoires of my own in my home for my parents to visit... and my daughter to relish..

  6. Wow, so much information packed into one post!

    Moving is hard, esp. moving like that right when YOUR life is changing... sometimes I just trip to realize that all of our girls have lived all of their wee lives so far, in this house.This place isn't even five years old yet!

  7. You have a fascinating and hard working family. My parents came over after world war 2, my Mum from Italy, Dad from England (they met in Rome during the war). Came over with out two cents to rub together, my Mum had the language barrier. Sorry about the loss of your childhood home...but home is where the heart is.....Anne

  8. It's true. Your parent's house never stops being 'your house'. I too grew up in Hamilton. What highschool did you go to? I went to B.R.
    My parents still live in a big empty four bedroom house that is way too big for them. Dad wants to move to a smaller place, but Mom likes how there is room for all of us (kids and all) when we come for a visit.
    Love your blog.

  9. Diana,
    I'm just wondering where you are, if you're okay, and such! I'm thinking of you!

  10. It's my first time here and I learned a lot about you in one post. Very nice!

    I'm not fond of moving either. I remember when I was around 10 and we were selling our second house... I boob-e-trapped my room so that people going through the open house wouldn't buy it. It's no fun as an adult either. I moved from BC to ON 10 years ago and have moved around a few times since within the KW area, we're in our 4th place already but I'm told we're staying for a while.

  11. Diana,

    I really hope that everything is okay with you. I can't help but worry because that is what I do. If you read this post could you please email me. I would love to know how you are doing. I totally understand if you no longer have time to blog.

    Mama D

  12. how about a comment that's not spam? I hadn't been to your blog in a while and thought I'd check in. I noticed you haven't posted in a while. Have you given up blogging or moved to a new site?

  13. I know what you mean about moving. My Dad was in the Navy - it seemed we moved [sometimes twice] a year. I think that's [in part] why I feel that home is where you family is.
    Best wishes


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