When I was 12 I was very naive. I remember thinking that it was so sad that my dad rarely saw his sisters and brothers. It was different than my mom who stayed in close contact with her brothers. She was the baby girl after all. But, I always believed that no matter what we would always exchange gifts at Christmas, that we would always break bread together. That we would always be there, right there. I remember saying, I could lose a man, but I would never lose my sisters. I even said to my ex once, "Don't ever mess with my sisters, I will choose them over you!" So naive!
I remember wonderful Thanksgivings and Christmas's surrounded by family. Aunt Donna, Uncle Gene, Scott and Diane, they were a part of it all. Then it happened. People began to get to that point where there would be kids going off to college, people getting married and the large family that silenced out loneliness and separation began to dwindle. We began to see people less and less. Only 7 years later would render us motherless as Mom died too soon.
Soon it was just Maureen, Michael (who had headed off to college) Me, Rick and little Miss. The others headed out for greener pasture. I remember feeling that it would be okay, I could talk with all of them as needed by phone. My weekly, sometimes daily phone calls to my sisters would keep the emptiness, confusion and feeling of orphan-like confusion at bay. I would always have them. They would always be my first friends. My brothers who are 2 years younger and 2 years older would be my protectors, my shelter from the storm. I remember feeling dread when my sister announced that they were moving to Arizona. The farthest corner of the South West to be exact. "Don't worry we will be home at least once a year." I remember thinking, "no, you won't your family will want to experience other places. Kankakee will be the last place you visit. That is the way it all happens.
I know, two way street. So it is that time and tide has come and gone. I am blessed I still have my sisters and my brothers, there are no weekly calls, the sometime daily call. There are not visits on Saturday morning with a cup of coffee and ramblings of the week before. There are minimal exchanges by way of a fabricated social network created for people who do not have brothers and sisters and large families that gather and talk on the phone weekly and sometimes daily. Where did it all go? In the end I had and I am blessed. I still have; I can still claim it as mine.
The aforementioned rambling came as a result of thinking about National Adoption Month. Sometimes we all feel like a motherless child. Some will always feel it, others just in those moments of orphan-like confusion, like now.