Reading comments to my previous post about my high school experience and posts written by others on various social media sites, I realize that many people stay connected to their high school and/or college friends. Even my daughter has stayed in touch with both of these groups although they now live all over the world. I’m thinking that perhaps it’s my particular age group, or at least the people I went to school with in that small, rural village. I am one of few who is immersed in social media. Trying to locate school mates turns up almost nothing.
Of course, many of you have stayed in contact with former classmates the old fashioned way–in person. Although living and working only 25 miles from that rural outpost, I rarely, if ever, see any former classmates. Many of my relatives, on my dad’s side, still live in the general vicinity, but they too are seldom seen in person, or even heard of via the grapevine. I am not good at staying connected, unless it is via social media.
On Sunday, while chatting with a friend at church, I discovered that her daughter is the best friend of a cousin who lives in that rural town, 25 miles west of here. The daughter had gotten married in my cousin’s yard, which is very much like a park. The cousin, actually by marriage and twice removed, owns the town’s floral shop, so the ceremony was quite beautiful and my friend waxed ecstatic about the whole event. We laughed at how small the world is that it was my family who produced this event. That side of my family has always been known for the parties, picnics, and other family and friend events. They go all out. For awhile, one of the cousins produced a family reunion every few years but age and ill health have taken their toll and she no longer hosts these. Maybe another reason I don’t stay connected.
After talking with my friend on Sunday, I started thinking of all the cousins still around. For many years I was the youngest grandchild on that side of the family, by far the youngest, making all my cousins considerably older than me. An aunt in Idaho ended my reign when she had what would be the last grandchild born to the Kissinger side. Lynn is about 5 years younger than me. I’ve lost that connection, too. The hometown cousins, my father’s brother’s children, now have grandchildren almost as old as my daughter. So, the connections have really been disconnected as I know none of them, except a few by name.
Yesterday, while perusing the aisles at my neighborhood Target, I spy a woman turned away from me but who I felt a connection. Having just been pondering all those cousins, I realize that she is the wife of the youngest of this local set of cousins. I approach her, call her by name, and she turns, startled. Yes, it’s her, but I can see in her face that she does not recognize me. I had always been the youngster in the family; now here stands this slightly older than middle-aged woman. I tell her my name and she beams. Of course. We stand and talk for a long time, catching up with all the various cousins and their children, including my own. Reconnecting for a moment in time.