During the course of almost any day, I trade e mails with one of my 2 closest and unfortunately longest distance friends . She is one of the two friends I truly consider the " Sister of my heart,"and I miss her and the Mullet Man ( LOL..you knew I'd do that , big boy) , more than I can say. I've known LALA and the Mullet Man for jeebus...30 years now, beginning back at the big WAZZU. They have been through miscarriages, tolerated and maintained radio silence with respect to the first husband , no easy feat there , and overall been one of those people you want with you in the foxhole when the mortars start. Just as the DH has the Crazy Cajun and his wife, I have these two ..people you have known for so long , that you pray like mad they like your spouse the first time they all meet..no matter how long you have been married. When their only child was born, they waited over two years to have the child christened so that I , as the Godmother could be there. I think my Godson still remembers the hat I wore..and hopefully story time from the book I gave him. He is getting married next year and I am going to be there..come hell or high water. Ask DH or anyone who actually , really knows me, when I say I am going to do something..consider it done.
LALA is an only child, living in a town where her family goes back at least four if not five generations that I know of , it's a college town so you're either a townie or the dreaded student/staff member/faculty . LALA and I worked together in the same building at WAZZU bit for different depts. After I left, she basically took over my position more or less and stayed until she retired while also earning her degree. Mullet Man still works for the University and they still live in the house her father was raised in , and his family before that. They've held on to the homestead through thick and thin, one way or another and I so admire that. Living down here for the last 25 years is as close to that as I can come, having grown up in the military. Even if I had to , I wouldn't leave Tejas. I belong here. Mullet Man's family is originally from Virginia, so he understands, and LALA to this day claims that even when I lived up north, I was still " very Southern." Virginia is the home to the other sister of the heart and while I don't object to visiting her and so forth, I wouldn't move there either, there are many memories from years ago , that are just too heart breaking to risk the deja vu of that pain. Sorry. Thats just the way it is.
LALA and I were " talking" yesterday about how much we both miss our grandparents, especially our Grandmothers. Her grandmother died only a few years ago and mine about 18 years ago , give or take a year. LALA was there at the end for her grandmother, and she is very grateful for that. I , on the other hand, having always lived far from the Grandparents, only had a chance to see Grandma once before her passing. That is not to say that we didn't see her when we were kids , I only saw her that one time when she was so ill. Sometimes I wish I hadn't. Grandma died from cancer. Bear in mind , my maternal grandparents were really larger than life. Grandma was built ( so it seemed to me as a kid) like Marjorie Main, hell... even the dresses were much the same. To see this woman , who could silence the most rambunctious kid with a look, frail and wasted from this disease is something I shall remember all my life , and not in a good way. I had no clue when I went back that she would have no idea who I was , or that I was the oldest grandchild. I had become a strange face to her , not frightening, just no connection to be made. I cried all the way home on that flight to IAH. Grandpa...big, stern, loving,...his word was law. You did not cross the Reverend. They were the glue that held us all together. My uncles, aunts and cousins all lived within in driving distance so they got to have their parents/ grandparents in their day to day lives much like LALA did. I used to and still envy that, I can't help it. Yes, I wrote my grandparents every few weeks, and yes, DH and I called Grandpa every week after Grandma died. This husband was lucky enough to meet Grandpa, and it meant the world to us that if things had been a bit easier financially , he would have been tickled to have married us up there. He understood the elopement, and completely supported our reasons for it , so his rapport with the DH was an extra gift to me. This month marks either 13 or 14 years that Grandpa has been gone. I won't speak for my surviving family but with the loss of my father, their son in law, , the feeling of any form of connection to my mothers family evaporated. Dissipation began in 1981 when mother died. It was completed four years ago this coming January. We were always the ones that were gone. I was unable to make it there for Grandma's funeral service, but since I had seen her, I was at peace with that . When Grandpa died, my cousins were " amazed " that DH and I came to the funeral. All the way from TEXAS...! Yowza ! That clued me in right there, even though DH had already picked up on it. The ones who are gone from the family dynamic miss it the most it seems , and strive the hardest to create it and their place in it. My mother made this mistake, and so did I. There is a difference between having a close knit family and being close within that family. I recognize that in DH's and LALA's family , mostly because it does not exist in mine. That is neither good nor bad, it simply is. You cannot make or force a happy family . You can treat all the members with courtesy and respect , and accept that often that is all there will ever be . That makes no one the " bad guy" and is no ones fault, it just is. I love my family, but to be honest I don't really know them, I haven't been around them , and have no clue as to their thoughts or feelings. Time and logistics have a lot to do with this, and it was no ones choice, just the way it all worked out.
Many people have no family at all, I consider myself lucky, I have the one I was born into , and I have the family that I made...Malibu's, Mullets, Cajuns n all.
Have a great week, you deserve it.