Making family connections is really life giving. It is so important for so many reasons. One of the reasons I feel so disconnected from my own brothers and sister is the fact that we have no new memories. When you get together you spend a lot of wasted time going over and over things from your childhood when you should be making new memories.
Opportunities to reconnect come when someone in the family makes the effort to plan a family reunion. My dad used to do this. When he died, we lost an entire side of the family. We grew up just 25 minutes away from all of our cousins and we still never saw them until Ukrainian Christmas, Ukrainian Easter or a wedding and a funeral.
This past week my first cousin flew here to visit my mother. I adored her when she was little and still do. She had a busy life as a child because she was an entertainer. My one big memory was when I was in HS I stayed at her house two weeks because my parents were away. She was only in 5th grade. Those were the past memories. We had not spent any time together since 1975. The last time I saw her was when my dad died.
But in a few short days, we were able to catch up, to reconnect. We made lots of new memories crammed in a few days. I lost my keys at least three times; she rummaged through her purse on several occasions looking for stuff. We laughed over and over as we realized we had so many things in common. She has a GPS and it was like the blind leading the blind trying to figure how to get it to work in Florida.
Even our health concerns were similar; she has problems with her throat me with my cough, and our super high familial cholesterol. Her mother lives with her out in Las Vegas and we could giggle about the challenges we face.
I sent her home to tell her husband and children a message. I told her to tell them, “ I found out I am not a crazy person, it is all in my genes”. We have decided that all of our craziness is just who we are.
This summer I plan on getting together with many of my cousins whom I have not seen since childhood and some who I never met. I know the experience will be the same and I cannot wait.