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Ohana

June 10th, 2008 (05:41 pm)
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current location: break

spc476 mentioned last night that he got an email from a distant cousin on his mother's side. (Being a programmer, he tried to explain to me the specific relationship, and of course I got hopelessly lost, but that's okay. "Cousin" is good enough for me.) So this cousin is trying to put together a family reunion sometime next year in Michigan! I find that waaaaaaaay neat. I hope it works out, and if so, I hope I get to go.

I'm in a strange place about family. Being so estranged from many members of my family of origin, I firmly claim my family of choice, along with all their relatives and sort-of-relatives, too. I have this inexplicable need for extended family, so I wind up being interested even in people like my niece's aunts and uncles from her father's side - people who are actually in no way related to me at all. Some of that is unfulfilled need of kinship, and probably some of that is a residue of Christian sentiment from my upbringing, the idea that ultimately, we are all related to each other.

Modern me is not ready to fully accept being related to everybody, but I certainly can start with family of my family and work my way out.

Geography is becoming important, too; in fact that's part of the dynamic. I live far away from my family of origin and most of my extended family, so finding (and making) family nearby, as well as in Michigan and North Carolina helps to satisfy that yearning for roots in places I want to be.

So, how do I do that? And how do I manage time, responsibility, and money meanwhile? Right now I'm just kind of muddling along with shared interests and email.

Speaking of which, I'm making some progress with family of origin, actually. A couple of years ago leabella55 kicked me in the butt to better stay in touch, and that has been wonderful! We do email and LJ and went to Gulf Wars together. We call and text and everything! Lately my youngest sister of my mom's kids has been emailing, phoning and texting too, and now she's got Myspace. She has a whole album of family in there. So interesting to see how everyone has changed and yet is the same.

(Useless factoid #112 - I like to look at people and imagine what they'll look like a few decades later. Sometimes I'm not far off! This is most fun at functions like weddings and reunions, when I can imagine their older selves looking later at pictures of their now younger selves and wondering where the time went.)

I'm also phoning my mom more. I -had- been phoning my dad more, but have become a slacker last month or two. Not that highly motivated, though, because I know he's traveling around doing odd jobs for relatives while in his early retirement, so I know he's out having fun and not moping around.