Thursday, August 5, 2010

Family Matters

Over the last few days I have written to two of my cousins, T and C, both on my father's side of the family.

I see T maybe once or twice a year, and C even less frequently, and yet I still feel a closeness to both of them.

You are still dear to my heart as part of my family, part of who I am and where I came from, I wrote to C. I still cherish the memories of hanging out with you and your brother ... Like I told T in a letter to her, it's nice to know that no matter where I wander in the world, my family are my roots.

It's true. No matter what branch of which family tree we're talking about--my father's side, mother's side, my husband's family--the shared experiences, inside jokes and preserved traditions feel like as much of who I am as my blue eyes or flat feet. And speaking of genetics, there is a certain comfort in knowing that I represent my family tree in not only my appearance, but through inherited personality traits I am proud to claim.

I told C that I hope our families can get together again sometime soon. I particularly love watching my dad, Aunt P and your mom together--there is definitely a family brand of humor and they just feed off each other's jokes. I always feel like I'm in on a family secret when around them. I guess I can hope that our boys feel that way someday when they think about me and my brother, or my husband and his brother (who are pretty funny together too).

While I certainly have enjoyed writing the many letters that represent places I've gone--to college, to new jobs, to relationships, to church, to therapy--it's also meaningful to write some that remind me where I started out.

REMEMBERING OUR TROOPS: In my letter to C I thanked him for serving in our nation's military--he has my respect, admiration and gratitude. That got me thinking about maybe writing a letters to soldiers, and a little searching uncovered the letter-writing team of Soldiers' Angels. I am going to check them out.

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