Our times are characterized by mobility, distance from family, family-like groupings of like-minded people, business associates, etc. What is no longer a characteristic of American life is the proximity to extended family, which is why we create pseudo-families. We are scattered all over the place. It makes for isolation and distancing which should not happen when you have a large number of relatives. I have thought about that a lot, because I come from a family of 7 children, had lots of aunts and uncles and more cousins than I can count, and numerous niece and nephews, many of whom I rarely see.

After almost 7 years, last year we reconnected with a niece/goddaughter in Hawaii. She is all grown up and a young Mama now. And this week, we had the opportunity to reconnect with one of our nephews/godchildren in east Texas. This young man, who started life so precipitously 40 years ago in a Montana hospital, is now a big strapping guy with a beautiful wife and two lovely children. He lives on a farm where his family raises goats for themselves and others.

We hadn’t seen Craig in 10 years—since the death of my father, and much water has gone under the bridge since. What a loss. We were pleasantly surprised to find out how much we have in common. Our world view is very similar, and we were surprised to learn that we both chose similar lifestyles for the good of our children–the more rural life with farm animals  (we had sheep, he has goats)  4-H projects,  involvement in church, etc.   We actually reconnected initially through Facebook and finally we made the trip east to visit in person.

By letting so much time pass I was lamenting about how much we have all missed.  The point is, we need to make those opportunities happen rather than leave them to chance, because chance rarely happens. And we don’t want to go through this life losing contact with those we should love and know the most. In the hierarchy of things, we are enjoined to love those whom God has put around us, like our family, and then move as in concentric circles outward. I have prayed for Craig and all my godchildren for all these years, and I am so glad that I had a second chance to have him in my life.

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