Sunday, January 23, 2011

What kind of family member are you?

In my (not so humble at times) opinion, there are three types of people in every family. It is very possible for each of us to play each one of these roles to different people, or even to the same people in different seasons of our lives.
We have the family we see on a regular basis: our husbands, children, and parents for example. Then, there are the ones we see only every so often, on family vacations, maybe a few times a year.

Then, unfortunately, we all have those family members
that we haven't seen since the last time someone died.

This has been on my mind a lot lately, as we have recently suffered a loss in my family. It was the loss of a stunningly beautiful, eccentric, albeit troubled woman with a "joie de vivre" unlike that of any person I have ever known.
I have such fond memories of times I spent with her ~the time she let me shop in her closet that was the size of a small township....Or the time when she took me for tacos, and she sped through town like a shot out of hell, cornering like her car was on rails, and leading me to wonder whether we would make it to the taco stand alive... That is who she was, there was no time for slow and steady, life was a full go every minute of every day. She was incredible, and I am better for having known her.

So, this weekend I will set out for Niagara falls where we will lay her to rest, and I will spend the weekend, undoubtedly reliving memories, or "members" as my cousin Andrea and I affectionately call them. We will share laughter over the time when... and shed a tear over how we felt when... and eventually, we will all get on a plane, or in a car, and go back to our lives, however changed they may be from now on.
But, that has me thinking, what will change? Will we go back to the way things were before? Or do we move forward with the understanding that we don't want to wait until some one else dies to see all these beautiful people again? It's not that we don't love them. And it's not that we aren't interested in their lives. But maybe they live on the other side of the country and we can't get out there... Maybe we get too busy at work. Whatever the reason, life happens, and suddenly ten years have gone by, and we can't believe that little Frankie is in high school, or Gina, who was named after your mother, has a boyfriend.

You walk away from those times hoping desperately that they know how much you love them all. ...You walk away hoping maybe you'll have the courage to pick up the phone once in a while.

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