On losing touch...

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On losing touch...

Postby brandtrn » 11 Apr 2013, 23:15

Well, it's happened again to me -- I lost touch with a relative who lived across the country. I know how things go when someone moves so far away from home...everyone gets so involved in the day-to-day activities of their own lives, that we have little time to spare for those who are no longer close at hand. Just yesterday, I found out that one of my cousins had died -- last month! Go figure...although I can honestly say that I tried, in my way, to keep in touch, I obviously didn't do a good enough job, since I wasn't even aware that she'd become ill. Still, I did better than most folks (and, perhaps, better than SHE did) since every single contact between us (phone calls, cards, letters) was done through MY efforts, not hers. Every once in awhile, I'd wonder to myself, "how's she doing?" and would call her. She always seemed happy to hear from me when I called, and we'd talk for hours about the happenings in each of our respective lives. At the end of each conversation, we'd always promise each other that we'd do a better job at keeping in touch, and then -- we'd drop out of each other's lives, for years at a time. Heaven knows, I hadn't even SEEN her since she came back to town for her mother's funeral, close to 15 years ago. Probably there wasn't much reason for us to stay in contact, once our respective mothers were deceased and she had no further reason to come back home, since we had such different personalities and interests. Still, I retained a fond memory of her kindness and affection to me as a child (she was a good 14 years older than I was), and wanted to remain in touch, if I could. It's only been over the last several months that I again wondered how she was doing and wanted to catch up with her (I think the last time we talked was AT LEAST two or three years ago!), and attempted to call her, without success. Unfortunately, I was unable to get an answer, and now it appears that I know why, since I saw her obituary online last night. At first, I was incredibly upset, not only that she had died, but that her brother didn't think to let me know that she was gone. Yes, I've lost touch with HIM, too, although I must say that every single effort for us to remain in touch has also been done on MY part, not his! The last time I tried to call him, I got his wife on the phone, and left a message, along with a phone number where he could contact me. Since I never heard back, I assumed that he was no longer interested in keeping in touch, and, although my feelings were hurt at the time, eventually thought no more about it. Still, I would have thought he'd have seen fit to tell me (or my brother or sister) that she was no longer with us...*sigh* Anyway, I've since become a bit more philosophical about the whole thing. Sometimes, our lives take us in different directions, and, for some reason, we no longer fit into the lives of people who once cared for us. Sad, but it happens...and honestly, I'm not guiltless in this matter, either. When I think about it, I went for years at a time without trying to contact either of these two, and I have two cousins on my Dad's side of the family that I'm also not in regular contact with. There is one, however, who called me out of the blue just a couple of months ago, and I was so happy to once again reconnect with her. I'm thinking that it's important for me to REALLY work on making the effort to stay in touch with those who were, for a time, some of the most important people in my life, and to do a better job at it, because life has shown me, too many times, that "tomorrow" just may be too late.
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Re: On losing touch...

Postby Yogi » 12 Apr 2013, 07:05

My mom and dad both came from large families, which means I ended up having quite a few cousins. The holidays made family get togethers feel like block parties instead of annual reunions. The two families were entirely different as far as relating to one another were concerned. Mom's side was a little more fun loving and close while dad's side knew how to have a good party but contact seemed to end afterward.

As happened to you, and I'm sure in many families, we all grow up and separate. I virtually lost contact with my dad's side of the family and only communicated with a couple cousins from the mom's side. But even that stopped after a while. One of the older cousins from my mom's side decided that the family has a lot of great memories and perhaps an annual reunion should be instituted to keep in touch. The first two went very well and were attended by just about all the cousins and their families. After five years of this, however, nobody bothered to answer the annual invitations any more. We came, we saw, we partied, and that was that.

I guess my dad's genes must be dominant in me because after all this time I too have become philosophical about family ties. We may all have the same roots, but we have all blossomed to become different people in different worlds of our own. If our paths cross randomly then fine. If not, who am I to alter fate? It would be nice to at least get a text message once a year to learn all we can in 160 characters. But, alas, not everyone is into texting, and they certainly aren't sharing phone numbers. It's not as sad as you would think. The memories of days gone by will live as long as I do. The focus now, however, is on the present. If you aren't part of it, you might be irrelevant.
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