So, I went home for two funerals last week/this weekend. North was also at the funeral of a close friend (my condolences again on his loss). This is not the first time I've attended funerals or known of people (including two other family members) to pass within a three to four day period from March 9-March 13 (so I'm justifiably twitchy at this time of year). Let's just say that there's something about the time around the Ides of March that just does not work for my family and, IMO, Caesar was a piker. My aunt said something about more people dying either right after the leaves fall or just before their return and I think she's right, or at least it's been my personal experience to date.
My sister, who is one of the wisest women I know, said that we are at the age where most of our interactions with family will be for funerals. And I suppose these people, genetically speaking, are family. But I don't know them; unless there is a funeral, I have few -to-no interactions with them. Part of that is my fault--there's only been one or two times I've contacted any of them or have been in physically close proximity to actually see them. But then they've never reached out to me either. I have finally moved my home close enough to interact with them, but at this point, after so many years, am I welcome or does it even matter to my existence to try to build something with them? There were a few times where I allowed my personal hurts to override doing what's right, which made me a smaller person (albeit human) and I think that colors things too.
There are people who put great store in the idea of shared genetic heritage, but I am not one of them. The simple fact of shared DNA does not make a person trustworthy or my family. Himself is my family. My dad isn't blood, but he's my family. My mom is my family (she's both). I'm fortunate that my sister is both blood and family. My brother (no DNA shared) was family until he decided that genetics was more important. Broke my heart. I've gathered family along the way--my best friend whom I met in college. My cousin in Kansas who I have met in person once (both). Folks in other states who I never see but know they are there. Family. Folks who would lay it on the line for me and for whom I would do the same.
I might try (again) to develop something more than a nodding acquaintance with these people who share a genetic heritage. My male cousins really didn't impress me with their lack of awareness or lack of willingness to help little old ladies and one struck me as being a total tool, actually. One of my female cousins was very gracious and I think is a good person and might meet me in an attempt to get to know each other. One cousin who I literally had not seen in decades, came to one funeral both to pay his respects as well as to try to find me and reconnect. I felt a bit overwhelmed at that.
I'm not exactly sure the point of this is. I guess these two funerals marked the ending of an era and the ones who once brought disparate relations together as families would--for holidays, birthdays, etc. are gone. What we do now and where we take it is totally up to us.
9 months ago