Family (Re)Connections

Bad news seems to be everywhere these days. Today I could blog on at least a dozen rather scary events, issues or ideas swirling around us right now at both the state and federal levels–from out-of-control spending at virtually every level of government to late second tri-mester abortions at the UW-affiliated Madison Surgery Center and lots of critical issues in between.  But, today I’m going to ignore those “uglies” and go a different direction.

Last weekend I went with two friends who are like sisters to me on what we fondly called our “Nice Nieces” trip. We headed Friday to Indianapolis to visit Aunt Mary, who is 88, widowed, but still living at home and enjoys being quite active. Early Sunday morning we headed to just south of Flint, Michigan, to see Aunt Ruth, 85, whose husband died less than a year ago and who now lives in a home for folks with dementia. Aunt Ruth still recognizes me and knows that she is not in her own home.

While seeing these dear aunts was our only objective, we also connected with a cousin and my brother and sister-in law.

We were in the car with just the three of us a lot those 4 days–and we didn’t spend a great deal of time at anyone place. But the time we spent with these dear aunts and with other family members was precious to all of us.

These are people who have invested in us over the years in hundreds of ways, ways that often required sacrifices of time, money, schedules, and energy. The little bit we gave to spend a little time with them last weekend pales in comparison.

Reconnecting with family, especially our aging family members, is critical. It strengthens the ties that bind, gives more wonderful memories, allows the older generation another opportunity to relate stories that shed light on who they are and prepares for the passing of the torch.

I’m so glad we made the “Nice Nieces” trip to see the “Great Aunts,” in spite of how many issues there were (and still are!) demanding my attention and time. When it’s all said and done, no issue is more important than family and connecting or re-connecting with them!