I grew up in a full household, six kids during the holidays, oldest of four girls during the school year. Despite this, I was often alone reading or studying. Perhaps that’s why I still feel disconnected. Or not. Who really knows what leads to isolation from family as you get older.
Point is, disconnection has been a running theme within my family. A lot of anger and miscommunication has built up so high that we can’t see each other anymore. As the poet in me would say, it’s an infinite and treacherous black and gray chasm without a rope or ladder on either side.
I have since moved over a thousand miles away from my hometown to start anew. Slowly I’ve been looking for ways I can connect with my family despite the distance. Facebook “friended”, Spotify songlists shared, text messages. I’m not sure if much has changed, patience is key I think.
Since I turned thirty, a feeling of urgency to hear my parents’ stories in particular have been getting stronger. I suspect it has something to do with mortality. Disconnection is much easier to achieve, to passively watch it pile up, than reconnection. The latter can only be accomplished through active participation between both people on either side of the chasm. The payoff isn’t always flashy or of any monetary value. It holds its own rewards.
Will it ever happen between my family and I? Only time and hard work can answer that question. Regardless of the outcome, I need to practice compassion on a regular basis. I do it because it is possible that my actions will positively influence another’s life, and that is reward enough.