Monday, January 15, 2018
Yesterday, we had a lunchtime get-together for my husband. He turns 44 later this week. My in-laws came over along with a few of our nephews and nieces. It's an odd feeling. 11 years ago, I had no nephews or nieces. Now, my spouse and I have nine, plus a grand-nephew. It's an interesting feeling.
My point, I guess, is that when I was bouncing back-and-forth between Maine and Hawaii about 5 years ago, one of the things I longed for was to have a stronger connection to family. I wasn't particular close with my sister at that point. Let's just say, it was really hard for me to have a conversation with her without veering into politics; a subject that would continuously drive a wedge between us. Years later, I would gain some clarity in realizing that the knowledge she lacks when it comes to current events, she more than makes up for in NFL stats. Maybe my real sister was kidnapped by mad scientists and replaced with an android? Who knows? Whatever the case may be, we're relatively close now. If we lived in New England, we would likely see each other more frequently.
When I made the decision to move to Ecuador, part of the reason was so I could be closer to my father's family. They are comprised of several cousins and a few remaining aunts and uncles. What I discovered over time is that, while still close to my father's family, I actually see my husband's family more frequently. Part of it, is simply geographical. My in-laws all live within a kilometer or two of our apartment. My cousins live nearby, but with traffic, it can take up to an hour to get to where they live.
So, yeah. When I left Maine, when I left Hawaii, when I left Western Massachusetts, I lost the family I had (comprised mostly of musicians and close friends), to the degree that I stopped seeing and interacting with everyone as frequently, but what I found in moving to Ecuador is the experience of family that I had yearned for. The concept of family varies from culture to culture. It hasn't always been easy for my husband to get along well with his siblings, but time passes, people change, and here we were, enjoying the day all together, hanging out, playing games, and chatting. It was kind of a perfect day as far as family goes.