Sunday, February 12, 2017

Circle of Life

Show choir day was full, but the competition was steep, and our kids took third in one division, narrowly missing the finals and didn't place in the other. The varsity choir didn't go to this one as they have several overnight trips. Not staying for finals, meant an early departure, so home by 10:00 instead of after 1:00. there was a smidge of disappointment in not doing better, but no one would say they deserved a better result. I sometime hear professional pop artists, gimmicky, and over produced, and scratch my head.  Then I hear 14-18 year olds, performing week after week, after rehearsing for hours during the week, with tons of talent. Some are part of a team that places, but most are not, yet do it for the pure joy of performing. It was really sweet seeing the entire auditorium of kids from a dozen schools,  raise their cell phone lights, their version of the cigarette lighter, for the winners of the solo and ensemble competition. 

DH will bring his mother to the airport today after her week of funerals. I'm heading to my sisters in a bit for a baby shower for one of my nieces step daughters. I guess this means I'm sort of going to be a great-great aunt. My brother called on Friday to let me know a cousin, who most of us haven't been in regular touch with since my aunt and uncle died 20 years ago, passed away. I think the last time I saw her e was at her sisters funeral, over a decade ago. She didn't attend either of my parents services, but sent a card.

 I think of my brothers and sisters and their families, and how I haven't seen some of my nieces and nephews in months-one baby born last June, I've not even met yet as they never attend extended family. I'm curious who, if any , of my nieces cousins will be at the shower today. Large, extended family gets like that, and it is not any one's fault, just with each generation passing, new members of the family, new generations take their place, and time is focused closer to home. It's the circle of life- weddings, and babies, and illness, and death. DH's family, his aunts and uncles and cousins, are still all very close, though no longer get together for holidays, but spend a lot of time at the lake in the summer together. I wonder how much longer that will be the case, as his aunts are all grandparents now, and with my nieces wedding this summer, the next generation is starting families of their own.

How about you? How close are you with extended family? Do you make a concentrated effort to stay connected across the generations, or like me, does it just get to be very difficult?

12 comments:

  1. All of my family is in the USA except Mom who I see all the time and sister whom due to tons of issues no longer talk to. On hubby's side now that his dad is passed and Mom has alzheimers and we moved away we don't see any of his family except funerals. Sad but just the way it is

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    1. I think in life, we have to spend time with and on the people that enrich our lives. I don't think it is a bad thing when families drift apart, and jsut the way it is.

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  2. I've never been close to extended family, particularly on my Dad's side of the family. As a forces child I rarely saw my grandparents, let alone anyone else. I wouldn't know any of my cousins on my Dad's side if I passed them in the street, and only 2 of those on my Mum's side. My girls are not close to their cousins either, as a result of J not being close to his brothers. It works for us; we avoid family dramas for the most part :)

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    1. Some of the closeness or lack there of, stems from my parents relationships with their siblings. This particular cousin's mother, my dad's sister, never really got on well with my mom, so there weren't get togethers after my grandma died, other than a rare occasion, weddings, funerals the very rare reunion. I still see cousins on my mom's side, even though I am a lot younger, because my mom had a close relationship with her sister, and her cousins.

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  3. It's difficult! I'm organsing a family picnic for my father's side of my family in July. We last had one in 2012. Not everyone came but those who did all want to come this time. What is noticeable though is that both in 2012 and 2017 the trigger for a get-together has been a death. I'm the person who makes by far the biggest effort to stay connected with everyone. I send everyone a Christmas card although and although many don't bother to send me one, everyone tells me they appreciate my efforts.

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    1. I wouldn't mind a big reunion, but when it is difficult just getting immediate together, the planning seems like a lot of effort. I tried with a third cousin a couple years, but we gave up. My sister holds a big 4th of July (Independence day) picnic, and it is open invitation, Occasionally an cousin will join.

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  4. We have a family reunion each year that is mostly made of my maternal grandparents grands and great grands (My cousins and their families) . Only my mom and her brother remain from the oldest generation) I do talk to one cousin just about every week, see another on a regular basis, and the rest I see only at funerals or the reunion. Surprisingly everyone makes a real effort to attend the reunion at least every other year. (And the older I get the shorter the time feels from one year to another) Now that all of my cousins are grandparents, when we are together there are 4 generations represented There is also a huge extended family Thanksgiving celebration, but I only make it there about every 3 or so years.

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    1. Good for you for keeping the effort up, since you all enjoy it still. I was a lot younger than all cousins, so it was my 2nd and 3rd cousins I grew up with, before my grandma died, and a couple I am in regular Facebook communication, and an occasional lunch out.

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  5. My grandparents & all of their siblings lived close by when I was growing up. Now that my grandparents have passed, my parents still live close. If we were in Washington, we would see them for the family reunion, at least once a year. And, typically at the grocery store, pharmacy, post office. . . ;-) We're remote. People think we're very "big city".

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    1. We've all just grown apart, but not so much in distance. I wouldn't know this particular cousins children if I saw them, and we live 20 minutes away.

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  6. Jon and I are both orphans, he is an only child and I have a younger single brother so no in-laws or kids - we can go for months without seeing each other but have a great time when we do. x

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    1. I do have a good time with my siblings, and have been known on occasion, to enjoy in limited doses, DH's brother and sister as well. I actually really get along well with his cousins and aunts, who are about the same age as my oldest siblings.

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