I was having lunch with Randy after church this past Sunday. We were at Jason’s Deli, it was crowded and noisy. My cell phone rang and I did not recognize the number. I almost did not answer it because these clever marketers call using local numbers so it is more difficult to discern. I’m glad I decided to answer it. The call was from Vicki, one of my many cousins, reaching out to let me know her father was in ICU and that she had received a message on her voice mail from another relative about their son, Tim, who was hospitalized and not doing well. The message had very limited information and may have been cut off. She was calling me to see if I knew what was going on with Tim. I did not, so I called another cousin who I was pretty sure would know, and she did. Turns out both of these cousins are in the same hospital. Bobby, with pneumonia and more senior in age is expected to recover, and the other, Tim, is dealing with an aggressive cancer and likely looking at end of life decisions. Tim is 5 years younger than me.
By the end of the day, I had talked on the phone and in person with 3 of my cousins, got caught up on several others, and on my way home, thought of a couple of others who I need to call. I’ve mentioned previously that I was adopted as a baby. My mom was child #7 of 10 children. That resulted in a lot of kids and although I was raised an only child, I grew up with a lot of cousins, and fortunately we spent time with many of them, frequently.
What’s the significance of that you may ask? Well, these are the connections in my life, and while I don’t see these relatives anywhere near as frequently now as I did growing up, they still hold a special place in my heart and life. They brought me into their family and gave me critical and life-long connections as a child that were extremely important then and are still felt today. It is fun to reminisce about things we did as children, the times we got into trouble, places we went to together, and to talk about things that others don’t know but we do because we experienced it together!
I hope you have similar connections in your life to resurrect fond memories, and I hope you have pictures that you can hold and look back through to remind you of these connections that shape us and ground us even when we don’t realize it. We certainly seemed to do a better job of printing out photos in past times (because that was the only option if you wanted to see them) than we do in this digital age.
Hug one of your connections today and then take a selfie with them - and then print it!