Monday, September 18, 2006

Losing Family Ties

Mom and I were recently discussing custody of family-history papers/pictures/etc and antiques. Since then I have been reflecting on how America (or at least the parts of America that I have lived in) seems to have drifted apart. Generations no longer live together in the same area for years and years. The closest living relatives live 900 miles away from where we live now. Most of the others are even farther. In the extended family in particular, they are like strangers. I see them so rarely. I know nothing of their daily lives. We have little to no shared history. No joint memories of growing up or of how Grandpa So-and-So always used to X. How Cousin JoeBob is just like Uncle Harry. And so on.

For myself, I have been blessed with a great network of local friends and "family". But when looking at it on a longer-term perspective of multiple generations, it's just not the same. I do want to keep the family history stuff but will my children be interested? The more years that pass, it seems the farther apart we all grow. It makes me sad, like we are missing out on something important. And who knows - maybe we'd all hate each other if we lived closer together. But from a thousand miles away, it seems like we're just missing out on good stuff.


Cheryl Wray said...

I think this is SO true! Although, it's funny, becaue my kids are closer to their cousins and grandparents than I ever was (mine were in Texas, while I grew up mostly in Arkansas and Alabama; so we'd see everyone at Christmas and on a summer vacation). But I think that our generation has definitely become "separated" from our extended families. And we're missing out on a lot!
Great post!

Cheryl Wray said...

Hey again! I just read your comment on my blog and the "De Colores" jumped out at me. I'm actually going to an Emmaus Follow-Up meeting Thurs. night, so it was actually on my mind too.
Very cool!!!
De Colores to you!!

mapiprincesa said...

I know. I felt a huge sense of loss when my grandparents all died back when I was 14, and then when my great-grandmother died a few years later. All of that history--gone. So much that has been lost, so many questions left unanswered--and now we all live across the continent from each other. It is hard.