Next month makes four years since I moved here. In that time only one member of my family has ever come here to see me, her nephew, or her sister-in-law. We have received a visit from my sister Ari and her family when she was on a road trip that went through here.
I am not playing a blame game here - just stating some facts; I am not so good at staying in touch myself so maybe it runs in the family. Or maybe it is just me. But my take on relationships is that it is rarely just one sided when they work and when they don't work - relationships don't have to be two way streets but they really should be.
It was also about this time six years ago that I moved from Nevada to Arizona in an effort to get closer to my family. Unfortunately, I didn't really feel like relationships were really restored when I finally moved away. But the fact is I have moved to be closer and I have spent money and vacation time to go see my family members. Still, I would like a visit and I have made invitations from time to time only to hear excuse after excuse - money is tight (my money is tight too), we don't have the time (nobody ever 'has' the time), we can't travel (in parentheses 'to see you' because the people who say that make trips when they really want to), or the 'it's your fault we don't come' excuse -- "we don't know what your situation is" (all I can say to that is LAME - that is why you SHOULD visit). I have my excuses as well but, mostly, I would just like to get visited a few times before I go out of my way again. It makes a person feel important or even loved - precisely because visiting tends to involve going out of a person's way.
But families are what they are and any time you start looking for things that you think they should be you are bound to be disappointed - mostly because that sort of looking for usually involves comparing one family to another. Even if that is like comparing apples to apples there is the problem of only seeing the skin of most other apples - we rarely know all the worms that some other family is or has been dealing with out of view of other people. All a person can do is take them (or leave them) for what they are - just accept the situation and decide if it is something you want in your life. If you know you're living on a one way street you just have to accept that fact because fighting it doesn't turn a one way street into a two way street. My therapist (don't pretend you don't need one yourself) has told me that if experience has shown me that I have to make all the visits myself to have a relationship then the only question I should be asking myself should be whether I want a relationship or not rather than stressing over reciprocation. Perhaps not the answer I would like, but it is what it is.
All of Becky's immediate family and many members of her extended family have come many times to see her and Gabe in the last four years. Both her parents work and deal with health problems themselves. They have to make arrangements to have other people watch their animals as well. That sort of loyalty (call it love?) just runs in her family though. I am glad Gabe is learning that from them.
The one good thing about not hearing from everybody in my family (it is a big family, afterall) is that it saves me cell phone minutes. Becky and her mom both go over their minutes on a regular basis because they talk too much to family.
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