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.