Today is a big day in my house, my youngest is coming home for a visit. I also have all my grand children here, while my oldest gets things in order for her big move, into their new home. I have spent the past day thinking about family, and how it suddenly has become so important.
See. I grew up in my small town. I did leave for a little while, but, back I went. I had all my children while living in my "hometown". My parents lived blocks away from me, my brother and his family, just down the road. When my honey and I got together, both of us had our families within walking distance.
Our first move, took us a few hours from family. We could still travel back and forth in a day, and have a visit. Even then, we had extended family in town, so, there was always someone visiting.
This last move took us far from extended family. Oh, we were lucky, my oldest and her family made the trip along with us, and have set up their home just an hour away. I have the ability to visit my Grand kids easily, and will have the pleasure of my grand-daughter spending a month with me. But....there comes a time in life when Family becomes far more dear than it was. When you begin to lose pieces of those who have been a part of your being, you begin to realize, you need to find your way back.
I have a wonderful Aunt. She has been in my life for as long as I can remember. I have pictures of her , when it was just me and my parents. Now she is the only one left, that I enjoyed a relationship with. To say she is precious, is an understatement. I seldom get to visit her, but, I have come to the point in my life , telling her that I love her, flows easily. Telling someone besides my beloved and my kids (even that does not often come naturally, just assume they know it)is not an easy thing for me. I don't think my parents ever told me that they loved me. Just wasn't necessary, guess we figured it was a given, because they put up with us. Love is a word that is bandied about without thought. To get to the point in life that I am able to express this word to certain folks, has taken me a 1/2 century, and when I say it, I do mean it. I love my Aunt, because she and I both realize, time often moves too quickly, and if we don't let each other know that we are important to each other, we may one day regret it. I am satisfied she knows she has a place in my heart.
I love my honey, and my children and Grand children, this is a given, and perhaps I don't say the words often, but, I do say them! However, those who are not close, and I seldom get the chance to speak to, perhaps do not know that their Aunty, sister, sister-in-law, and cousin, loves them, as well. They are all in my heart. They are all a part of my being, a part of who I was, and who I became. They are the ones that are pieces of my life.
Last night, I got a phone call. Granted I was a tad messed up, got two nephews with the same name, and because I had spoke on the phone with them, a total of maybe twice, I was confused. I blame it on old age....However, he took the time to call me, to tell me about an important milestone in his life! I was blown away. To think that he thought me, his aunty, who, if we are lucky, he sees once a year, was a person who deserved to be given a personal call, probably meant far more than he imagined. Now he will know, because, it was like a hug from afar. I often feel apart from those beyond my own small family.I don't think I realized all those years, visits to my sister-in-laws, and nephews at my house, and insults and jokes passed between the brother-in-law, and my brother , would end. I imagined that my life would continue surrounded by family, and they would always be close by.
That has not been so, for more years than it was. Our children have all grown, most have left home, and started on their own lives, beyond their family. The ability to consider these people just know I love them, because.....has long passed.
So, since I have the pleasure of sending my thoughts out to the world, with the push of my "publish" button, and I can rant away, and tell everyone how I feel, today I will use this button to tell ALL my family, I love them. Some, maybe far away, and I have not spent more than a few days, or hours with, in my lifetime, don't think that you do not hold a piece of my heart. I think of each one of you, and because you are the children of my parent's siblings, or the addition through marriage, or the children of my sibling, or my honey's siblings, you are family!We have the same roots, and no matter how different we appear, somewhere deep down, we have a tiny bit of sameness, or our children have that sameness.
So, to my nephew, I thank you for giving your poor old aunty a nice warm hug, with your phone call, and for reminding me that I have not said I love you, to those I no longer get to see with a quick walk down the road. To make me take this moment to say I love you to my cousins, who, perhaps do not realize they are in my thoughts. So, now that I have spewed this to the world, I can go back to the jokes and insults. Family are the ties that bind, sometimes they may get knots in them,and sometimes they break, but, you can always find a way to put them back together, even if they don't look quite as pretty.