My family has always meant a great deal to me. I’ve managed to stay close to my parents and brother by calling them ever-so often and keeping in touch. My extended family however is a different story. Growing up overseas, we didn’t see each other for birthdays or mini-celebrations, however every summer we would fly to Kentucky and I would stay with my grandparents for about a month. Those trips were absolutely wonderful. My grandmother would take me to the library with her, my grandad would take me out for fish and chips. My aunts and uncles and bunches of cousins would all hang out for appreciation and cheer. Looking back on my life, the summers spent catching fireflies and eating ice cream were the best.
I haven’t been back to Kentucky to see my beloved family in six or seven years. A few relatives came to Colorado when I graduated high school but the visit was rushed and I was a self-centered teenager who didn’t fully appreciate the gesture. I feel like I’ve become the black sheep family member, the estranged girl that no one really knows any more.
With my parents moving ever farther away to Oregon, and the realization that my family in Kentucky is growing older, I’ve resolved to reconnect and once again be an active participant in the family. I’m ready to strut my stuff and show my family how much I love them and truly care that they are a part of my life.
I’m going to Kentucky for the upcoming holidays and I couldn’t be more excited. I have cousins I finally get to meet, other cousins who are getting engaged, and wonderful grandparents on either sides who I miss terribly. On top of that, I will get back in touch with my roots. I was born in Kentucky and spent my developing years there. I thrived on the green grass, ice storms, and as mentioned above, the lightning bugs. I finally get to return home.
It’s hard keeping in touch friends and family when separated by so many miles. Having moved all the over world and never truly settling in one place, I understand how difficult it is to maintain relationships with people over the years. But these relationships shaped who we are and have made lasting impressions, whether obvious or not. I’m committing to honor these relationships and rekindling what I can.
I’m going to Kentucky to rehash relationships with family, but I also yearn to rekindle friendships I had overseas. Luckily, nowadays Facebook makes this very possible, and little by little I am making moves. I email old friends from junior high and still wish them a happy birthday.
Although separated by geographic distance, the memories created last forever in our hearts and our minds.
That’s why I’m digging up these memories, and honoring the good times by reconnecting with people who’ve made a difference in my life.
Who do you wish to reconnect with? Who has made an impact in your life, and how do you honor it?