People always say that…”before it’s too late”…when they want you to reconcile with loved ones…long lost…or never found. It’s like turning a screw that’s in place, but wobbly for whatever reason. Some folks like to tighten things up before…the end.
I’m not one for artificiality. I don’t do things…just because. It has to feel organic…for me.
In the good old days families did everything together. They witnessed the births of newborn kin…and in the Catholic faith, the one to which I subscribe…there were First Communions and Confirmations. Graduations and Weddings were a cause for great celebration. And holidays were when extended family came together to catch up.
These days it’s a rarity that one is on hand for all the births, graduations and weddings that occur in a family. Modern day families have wandered far and wide in search of the proverbial “pot of gold.” Trying to make it back to the family homestead, if it even still exists, can cost a small fortune. It’s been a long time since we’ve traveled by horse and buggy. Have you noticed?
If you were lucky, or not…as the case might be…to have parents and siblings nearby when you started your own family, then your children grew up with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Family connectivity remained intact. Everyone knew everything there was to know about one another. It was either a good thing…or a bad thing. Whatever the case, there was an attachment of sorts.
When you haven’t lived in the vicinity of family members for years at a time, the only attachment that remains for many…is blood. And while a pint or two of blood can save a life, it’s not enough to reconstruct those lost years. The most you can do with what’s left is accept the fact that things are…just fine.
My brother Ed and I were the last born in my family. Having spent more time with him than any other of my 8 siblings, I know him best. I experienced good times, and bad, with him and my mom, a widow. He and I also spent some time together when I moved to the mainland after we were both married. We lived in distant states, so our families only saw each other every now and then.
The thing that will always connect me to Ed is that we had some really great times. We cried together; we laughed together. We respected each other, never dictating what either of us should or shouldn’t do. I never felt he was less for not having gone to college. In fact, I admire his having learned the computer trade by apprenticing with those willing to teach him. But then he soared to higher levels on his own initiative.
I miss joking around with Ed. He lives on the other side of the continent, some 3,000 miles away. I may never see my brother again, for life has a way of…getting in the way. Nonetheless, the times we shared remain fixed in my memory. And isn’t that what we should cherish the most?
Forcing change is not my style. I wouldn’t expect others to make room for me in their lives just because death is at hand. Rather, I would prefer they live happily with those who have helped create lasting memories over all the years they were blest to be together. To my way of thinking…
…death is just another day in the life…we’ve created for ourselves all along…