It’s A Small World After All

I don’t like having family scattered all around the world. Lately I have been missing them. My cousins, Aine and Jessie. My Aunt Jo. My sister Shelley.

I am finding it harder to cope with missing them as I get older because I am acutely aware of how quickly time passes, how impossible it is to hold back the years. Sometimes Australia just seems so far away from the rest of the world. Air fares are pricey. And none of us can afford to travel wherever we wish to in this economic climate.

The past year has been a very tough one for me in an emotional sense. I have friends to talk to but it’s not the same as family. The sarcastic, sardonic, irreverent sense of humour that I get from my family just isn’t there with friends. There is also that element of not wanting to bother friends all the time with anxieties and frailties, with the burden of what can at times be a bleak, despairing illness.

I am trying really hard to be positive.  The happy, smiling, life- is -good vibes fly free like hundreds of butterflies released from nets. But I can’t catch them. Or hold onto them. Or absorb their power. The good feelings go more quickly than they come. It is exhausting looking on the bright side. I can see the morning light but the bright sunshiney day doesn’t belong to me.

Every day unfolds under false pretenses. Let’s pretend is my favourite game. People don’t like it when they know you’re ill. They don’t know what to say. Cheer up sounds so ineffectual against night time thoughts of sharp kitchenware.

I’m not mad at the world, I’m sad at the world. And often I feel it’s just me. Looking out at the garden.

I am a bird sitting in a tree. For years I sat with my flock – just chirpin’, just chillin’. Now they have flown away, following the sun. I have remained behind, disconsolate, not even noticing the tree I am sitting in is bare.

On days like this I throw myself on the mercy of the gods and ask for a sign.  Most of the time the gods do look out for me. It kind of freaks me out, but they do. The sign came in the form of a phone call. My sister called from America. She made me laugh as she always does. ‘It could always be worse,’ she said. ‘You could be a nymphomaniac spinster with an artificial leg, a penchant for polyester, and a fanatical devotion to Kenny G.’ No one can crack me up like my sister.

Suddenly the world didn’t seem like such a big place after all. Suddenly I remembered that the people I love are all just a phone call away. And they miss me as much as I miss them. There’s comfort to be had in that. And the promise of peace of mind.

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15 thoughts on “It’s A Small World After All

  1. I totally understand how you feel. I do miss the happier times with my cousins. How care-free and fun filled they were. Listening to music, watching movies, playing games & sports together. Those were the days. Now I rarely get to meet my cousins who live in the same city as I do. Times change but we still remain close.

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  2. People are just a phone call away and it is wonderful to connect with them. But in between the phone calls, sometimes it’s hard remembering that. I tend to do the same thing ~ pretending especially during the winter. Sometimes it works, but not always. So true that people don’t want to hear about being ill ~

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  3. I suppose it’s lucky all my grandparents were so … prolific??

    I’ve therefore got lots of cousins … a few are (or, sometimes, sadly, were) more like my brothers and sisters, some I grew apart from and some I wouldn’t know if I passed in the street.

    I once met a guy in the RAF … we were in our early 30s then. He introduced himself, and said ‘Is your father’s name John and your mother’s Sarah?’ I said ‘Yes! Is your father’s name James and your mother’s Mary? And, do you come from Inverness?’

    Yes, it was my cousin, Ray, who I hadn’t seen since he was six years old. And, we’ve been good friends ever since.

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  4. I can only imagine how you feel. I am fortunate enough to be close with my family (geographically as well) which makes it easy for all of us to get together often.

    *sending you my love and hugs*

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  5. As a fellow melancholic, I’ll say that it’s the people in our lives who can really help you feel better. That was a funny line from your sister – the part about Kenny G was the best. Oh, my God – Kenny G, the gold standard of bland. I’d be looking for sharp things in the kitchen if I had to listen to him.

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  6. My family is small but we live fairly close to each other – I was always the ‘runaway’ but finally came home to stay and am grateful. I understand the missing…sometimes it’s okay, sometimes it just isn’t.

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  7. There’s nothing like a “sign” to keep the spirits and hopes up. I hear you Selma, and I know of what you speak.

    I hope that sunnier days are on the way. And know that you are never alone and that so many, many people care about you, including your blog pals, like ME! 😉

    Hugs, G

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  8. As an only child, and one who was never particularly close to my cousing (geographically or emotionally), I had to adopt my own “siblings.” I have several friends, but only a very small handful of them make me feel like family.

    Still, they have their own (real) families to pester, and right now I’m in the midst of my own alligator pit, so there hasn’t been much supporting going on from any direction. But those calls from out of the blue can really make a difference in how well the day will end.

    I love what your sister said, and yeah, having someone close enough to you who knows you could handle hearing something like that… oh, that’s a treasure!

    Oh, and I’d take Kenny G over John Tesh ANY day (but I much prefer almost anything over either of them!)

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  9. I spoke to my younger sister on Saturday as she sat in a London pub with the big brown sword of redundancy hanging over her. I miss her a lot. But I was sitting in a cafe in Auckland having a gigantic glass of pinot gris so we didn’t talk long.

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  10. A very important message at the end there. I guess you CAN feel sad, and angry, about the world, but in the end it will be our positivity that will bring us out of it – both personally and economically.

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  11. ROSHAN:
    It’s hard as we get older to stay in touch. But it’s true what you say, even though we don’t see one another as much we do remain close!

    KATE:
    I know what you mean. It’s not possible to be on the phone 24/7. It is hard to talk to some people. They just don’t want to know about anything negative. That’s why I talk to myself. LOL.

    TRAVELRAT:
    What an incredible story. Imagine meeting up with your cousin like that. WOW. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!!

    MELEAH:
    I am really glad your family are there for you as well as living so close. I think it makes a difference. Thanks for the hugs. 😀

    RICHARD:
    Sharp things and a blowtorch to burn all his records. If you really want to see a grown woman cry play me Kenny G on a loop. Yikes!

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  12. NAT:
    Oh, absolutely. My sister always goes all Dr. Phil on me and tells me like it is. It’s great!

    TUMBLEWORDS:
    I am really glad you came home to stay. I love to hear things like that. You’re right – there are days when the missing isn’t an issue. It’s just every now and then that you feel it.

    GERALDINE:
    Aww, thanks, hon! I believe in signs. They usually come along at the right time….

    KAREN:
    I know you are in the alligator pit right now. I can only imagine how tough it must be. You know I’m always here for you. Any time!!

    LOZSTER:
    Am I right in assuming you are an Aussie? Yes, it’s true – we’re not that far away. Nice to meet you!

    SIMILAR SIMIAN:
    The pinot gris will win out every time. 😆

    ANTHONY:
    I hope so, I really do. That would restore my faith!

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