Remembering ... and looking forward

March 1, 2018

I don’t know if I (we?) feel it more because we are overseas and away from the comfort of family, if I have more time to reflect and be introspective (I spend a LOT of time sitting in traffic…), or if it really just bites to lose family – extended or immediate, biological or de facto – or, (most likely) a combination of the three, but when we lose a loved one, it hits close to home and thoroughly sends me in a tail-spin. 


My uncle passed away recently.  It’s not as though we were close, though I have tremendously fond memories of him and his family, and the kindness that they have extended to me and mine.  It isn’t as though I thought of him every day, nor spent huge amounts of time with him.  Perhaps I am dwelling on this because my dad’s passing is so recent, and perhaps just because losing a family member pushes me to think about those still living, and what I can do to better the connection I have with each of them.  I don’t know.  Suffice it to say, I am preoccupied with thoughts of family, and connections and what we can do to make these connections stronger.  In this day and age of connectivity (internet/etc), we can't use distance as much as an excuse as we once could.  In addition, I’m thinking about what impact I have made, what I might be remembered for, and by whom.  (Honestly, it bears repeating, I spend a LOT of time in traffic.)


So I am asking myself:

How am I making an effort to stay connected?  And with whom?  Am I making myself available to the people I hold most dear and important?  Am I using my time wisely to reach out, and also to reach in?


I wish in lieu of regret after losing someone, we would instead do our best to connect BEFORE the loss happens.  I keep feeling this way about my immediate family, and my relationship with each of them.  I keep feeling this way about my extended village of friends.  What can I do to reach out more?  What can I do to make a more positive impact on others?  Not to be morbid, when the time comes to pass, but what do I want to be remembered for?  I always feel like the best one can hope for is to pass away having a sense of happiness, contentment and connection. 


So I’m asking myself:

 Am I fostering positive change?  And I leaving this place better than I found it?  Am I building – literally and proverbially – instead of destroying?  We move often, recreating our community each time.  Am I contributing positively to each new space and place?  Do I contribute positivity?  When I see something I do not necessarily agree with, do I try to foster positive change?  Am I respectful in my differences?  Am I accepting of others, and help them through their trouble spots?  Am I using the tools I have to spread positivity?  Is this all too Pollyanna-ish? 


I don’t know, it isn’t as though I want to start writing my epitaph, but this has given me a moment to pause and reflect.   This is as good a time as any, right?  And better now than wait until who knows what happens.  Making good things happen, and searching for the positive is a lot more productive than dwelling on what isn’t or couldn’t be, methinks.

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