You know, as we get older we realize that things we thought were important are not as important as we thought, and the things we neglected mean more than we ever knew. Now, I have always cherished family and thought it was VERY important. I just don't think I realized how much family meant to me. In September I found out I had a brother. Now, I say I found a brother I didn't know about, but I did know. My biological father had told me he existed, but that was all the info I ever got about him. Never a name, never his mother's name, never anything. Sometimes he told me he was older, sometimes younger, but never anything real. In my soul I *knew* he was out there even when I was told by my aunt that it was all false, that he didn't really exist, that my Dad was a pathological liar (he was) and to come to grips with it and understand I was the "one and only". I was right though, and we are now reunited (never united in the first place, but you know what I mean). I love him so much and have so much peace in my soul for having him and my precious niece and nephew in my life.
Then there is a long string of cousins that I long to visit with. I find myself with the urge to work and save so I can take trips to spend time with them. This is something I *will* do. Mark my words.
In January my aunt was very sick, and we knew the end was near. I took off and drove to be by her side and say things I needed to make sure she heard. I did this despite being told "she knows in her heart, you don't have to go" and various protests by my husband and other family and friends. I knew I *needed* to go. In the end, it was the right thing. I think I healed more over those few days than I have through anything else. By healing, I mean I got closure. I realized that there is a lot to be said about getting closure, and also that family is family and they matter. They REALLY REALLY matter. No matter how many years have lapsed, no matter the distance, no matter how long it has been since we spoke.