Last week a member of Mr. BTEG's family passed away, and the funeral was on Saturday morning. This man was a first cousin of Mr. BTEG's father, although Mr. BTEG always referred to him as an uncle. This man was also Mr. BTEG's godfather. His death was sad, as death always is. But what made me particularly melancholy is what appears to me at the moment as a sad march through time. It seems not all that long ago that the older generation was passing on: Mr. BTEG's grandparents and others of that generation. Mr. BTEG's own father died relatively young, so he was out of the pattern. But now not only is more of that generation is being lost to us on earth, but we are losing connections and seeing our own mortality more clearly in the big picture of life. This uncle had four children, and they and my husband and sisters-in-law saw a lot of each other as children. It was a happy time when everybody was getting married and starting a life of their own. But that new life also brings new family and responsibilities that change family dynamics. My husband and his sisters weren't sure of all the names of the husbands and wives that had married into the family, not to mention the names of all the children and which children belonged to whom. Grandchildren are even starting to appear.
I thought of cousins and second cousins of my own with whom I enjoyed good times as a child, mostly at family functions. As I married and had my children, I wanted to keep up some of those relationships, and integrate my own family in. But most of these cousins I don't even keep in touch with anymore. Everybody has their own immediate family and their own commitments that involve so much time. I look at my wedding photos and think about how much I miss some of the people in them, and the relationships that we had. But that was when I was a young girl. Now I am a grown woman, and I am moving to the other end of the tier of relationships. I am happy to have my own children, and nieces and nephew, and so it goes.