How do we connect with people? I have been thinking about this a lot as Christmas approaches. We have so many ways to communicate and yet in some respects it feels like we are more disconnected than before. I phoned my great Aunt last week but she was out so I just left a message wishing her a Merry Christmas. I got a Christmas card from my Uncle and was kind of shocked to think we haven’t gone for coffee in months. I almost titled this “Too busy” because there are times when it just seems like we are too busy to pick up the phone or send a quick email to say I was thinking about you. We no longer send Christmas cards. There were many people on Mom’s list for whom this was the only communication they had all year. But I came to realize that it was a connection to us. For my Dad’s Aunt May and his cousin Frank they loved seeing Dad’s children grow up through the letters. I remember Frank saying how much my brother looked like Dad’s father.
Yesterday I sent an email to my friend to rant about the cost of chocolates. Then in the evening I was talking to my Dad’s younger brother’s widow and she told me something that I had to share with my friend. If I see something interesting on tv I think oh I have to tell her. Growing up in church we were the ones that the church ladies had to shush if we sat together. All 3 of us found the same things amusing.
I have re-connected with my cousin through Facebook. Her Mom was on Facebook too although she joined after her daughter. Although she and my Uncle were divorced we all considered her family. We talked openly about loss and how sharing memories keeps our loved ones alive.
I am so thankful for the connection I have made with a public school friend through Janet. We would have eventually found each other on Facebook I’m sure but writing long emails and letters made for more meaningful conversations. I have often said that she has a connection to Janet that I can’t explain…how else does she know exactly what to draw without me telling her?
Family and friends are the things that connect us but love is the thing that joins us.

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