I know I am aging, not so much by the hair color or the little wrinkles but more by the way the things of life affect me. I am an ordinary person and have had no more bad things happen in my life than the next person and not nearly as many as some people. I have been lucky in that way but I have not been immune to losing people either through death or estrangement and I am not sure which is the most difficult.
I adored my paternal grandfather but I wasn't able to be around him much because they didn't live near by and because there were too many family "politics" to deal with. He passed away when I was six and I missed him. However, after I was an adult I re-established a relationship with that side of my family and I didn't mourn the people who passed on as much as the time I missed with them. In November I suddenly lost a dear cousin from this family and again I was reminded how much time was lost over irrelevant "things".
Today I learned that my mother's baby brother passed away last Wednesday. In addition to her brother, my mother had two sisters, both now gone. Between them all there were five of us girls -- all stair stepped in age except for the last one who was ten years younger than me. There was a point when I was close to the three older ones. We would go to movies, have sleepovers, go to dances, go to each other's graduations, we were in each others weddings -- we had a close relationship. Then, something happened and the relationship changed. I am close enough to my eldest cousin to consider her a sister. The other two, the daughters of my late uncle, are like strangers. I don't know why, I wish I did, I wish we could fix things. So, when I think about the passing of my uncle, while I am sad for the loss of the last of my mother's siblings, I am even sadder at the loss of the family that remains.
I guess it is a sign of age that I can remember well the relationships and how it felt to lose them but can't seem to recall the reason why the change occurred. I guess, as I age, I just can't get my head around how childish situations of the past could be more important than family. It is a shame we have to wait until we get to a "certain" age to see priorities clearly.
Wow, what a depressing post but it has been that sort of day.