So have you ever felt dis connected? I have been feeling that way lately. Today I spent time with my Dad and saw a man who is different than the man who raised me. He is old and feeble. His mind is changed due to alcohol. He is no longer the provider and caregiver but the one who is being cared for and watched over. He is not the person who is in my mind's eye when I speak with him on the telephone. At times I have glimmers of what or who he used to be but then he goes on to repeat the story he just told me or perhaps even asks about his age. Dis connected. or Differently connected. I am not sure.
To be honest I have felt a sense of dis connection since I learned of the tragic death of my cousin Coley last week. I googled him because I needed more information and found his Myspace pagehttp://www.myspace.com/colemanmellett . Coley was a young, talented jazz musician. I listened to his music and looked at his photos and even though I was looking at a virtual stranger I saw something in his face. Last night I looked at his MySpace page again and clicked over to his wife's page http://www.myspace.com/jeaniebryson. I guess I should call her a widow now. She is an accomplished Jazz singer. I listened to her music and looked at her photos. I read the messages left on both of these pages and was struck by the fact that this man was my second cousin yet I did not know him. After reading the messages and looking at the photos and listening to the music I realized how much I would have enjoyed knowing this young man. Even though I had never met Coley when I looked at his photo, one in particular I saw myself and my brother, my uncle, his uncle, my other cousins. I saw my family in his face. Just typing these words brings up so much emotion. He was part of me, my family yet I never knew him. Knowing how I am feeling about this tragedy I can only imagine how his family feels right now.
As a child my mother's family was a huge part of my life. My brother and I were the youngest of the cousins. According to our age we fit more with the second cousins than with the first. Yet I always gravitated toward my older cousins. It was with them that I belonged. I remember many family get togethers. These were happy times when we were all connected. We were connected through our mothers and fathers. They were the Mellett clan. Strong and loyal. We were connected. Over time with the loss of one brother and sister at a time the connections changed. I don't want to say they weekend because I still feel so drawn to this clan but things change. In my mind I understand that large families don't always remain in touch and that lives are busy. I get that but even with that conscious understanding my heart aches for those connections. Maybe they would make me feel the way I felt when I was young and carefree maybe not.
I wept today; feeling dis connected, longing to hear my mother's voice- her wisdom- her advise on how I can re connect. I wept today wanting to wish away the tragedy that has struck Coley's family. It seems to me with every new death I experience I find I am less able to manage. I have had much experience with death since I was a very young child I should be able to manage it by now, yet I don't.
I know that emotional upheaval is temporary. I know that I am blessed to be connected to my children and to my husband. I wish that I didn't yearn for more than what I have. But perhaps that is only human nature?