On family

My mom was waiting in the hallway for me this morning.
“My Aunt Ruth died,” she said.
“Oh! I’m so sorry!” I said.
“She died yesterday,” she said.
“Oh! I’m so sorry!” I said, again.

I didn’t know what else to say.

There are several distinct pockets of my family that I’ve either never met before in my entire life, or have only met once, more than 20 years ago. And when I say “pockets,” I mean “gigantic branches of my family tree.” I never understood this. We all live in the same town. It wouldn’t require more than 20 minutes of travel by automobile to get everyone together. So why don’t we?

Each time I raise the issue, it’s brushed aside. I mean, I understand that when everyone has jobs and kids or whatever it’s more difficult to get things together, but not even once a year? Really, people?

I think I’m just being whiny. And immature. And, yes, jealous of people who have big family reunions that they actually attend. I’m not suggesting that these families all get along and love each other and travel the country in a flamboyantly-colored bus singing C’mon get haaaaaaappyyyy! I’m saying that these people – whether they realize it or not – know that family is important, and not to be taken for granted.

So I guess that’s the moral of this story: Don’t take your family for granted! You only get one, so make the time to make it count!

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