Looking at the list of important things I made yesterday, I find that I neglected to include my family of origin. Kind of interesting to think about why I did that, especially as I just spent three weeks in Israel, mostly with them, and loved it. So why did I leave them off my list?
I am a faculty brat, and I think my life has been defined by that. I have now lived longer in Winnipeg than in any other one place in my entire life – just over seventeen years. Before that I was in the Netherlands for eleven years, and I lived in Israel for a total of thirteen years and the United States for a total of seven years (with some back and forth between the two countries).
This is a long-winded way of saying that I am a pretty rootless person. I do not, at this time, have any friends from kindergarten, and I have one friend from elementary school. Facebook has helped me reconnect somewhat with my cousins. I have kept some connections from university, and have made some very good friends here in Winnipeg. Some of my deepest connections are virtual, to people I have met only a few times in real life or maybe not at all. I belong everywhere and nowhere.
While I love my family of origin, I have not shared a continental shelf with them since 1982. Nowadays we have email and Facebook and Skype, so they are more part of my life than they were in the past. They have come to my wedding and to my eldest son’s Bar Mitzvah, and we have gone to Israel to celebrate milestones with them. But they are not part of my everyday life. We have a deep bond of kinship, and yet somehow I left them off my list. I clearly need to do a better job of staying connected. Life is too short to be neglectful, and if they are not my roots, do I not have any at all?
Whom, or what, have you been neglecting?