Prior to this journey, I had a long-standing, comfortable, mutually supportive, fun, close relationship with exactly one member of my family.
My sister, Linda.
In Boulder, Colorado.
Three thousand kilometres away.
That’s one out of 78++ family members:
- 4 direct family members of mine
- 4 direct family members of Mark’s
- 18 maternal first cousins of mine (a hint of one promising relationship)
- 52 paternal first cousins of mine (one friendly but distant relationship)
- my 35+ aunts and uncles
- not to mention Mark’s cousins, aunts and uncles.
During the first five months of this journey, long lost cousins Tracy, Kathi, Betti and Stephanie have found and chosen to follow this blog and have offered hints at new beginnings and good vibes.
One very special cousin, Kelly, has become a pillar of emotional support, providing frequent and dependable doses of cheerleading, wisdom, humour and good company. She has become a huge part of our little family.
And without a single physical meeting or even a phone call, my long lost Aunt Barbara has become as much an aunt to my own girls as they have ever known.
This burgeoning renewal of faded childhood connections has been nurturing, healing, educational and warm. And I am immensely grateful.
Yet even the failures at reconnection have been educational.
Some of the most intriguing and thought-provoking phenomenon have been the reverberations — both positive and negative — of my diagnosis on the most painful, ever-present histories, lurking hurts, disconnections, uncommunicated expectations and disappointments of the relationships with 7 of our direct family members.
This morning, as Mark joined me for my morning Gratitude trek, we tossed around our impressions, observations and feelings about the dances that have grown out of my diagnosis and the five distinct Patterns to Peace which have naturally emerged:
- Instantly Committed — Hands On
- Instantly Connected — Hands Off
- Unchanged — Innocuous
- Unchanged — Destructive
Perhaps you’ve seen similar patterns in your own experiences?
It’s a long conversation but it’s important for us to share it. We hope you will give it a listen and that you’ll grant us the privilege of your thoughts, below.
Thank you for listening.
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