This Isn’t What I Wished For

Jonathan McLeod

Jonathan McLeod is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario. (That means Canada.) He spends too much time following local politics and writing about zoning issues. Follow him on Twitter.

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6 Responses

  1. Mike Dwyer says:

    My closest cousin when I was growing up was actually a step-cousin. She was from a rural county and had a thick southern drawl and long blonde hair. She told dirty jokes and I couldn’t wait for her to come visit. When my dad died we lost our family connection and then lost touch soon after. Nearly 20 years later we found each other again via Facebook and have been reconnecting. We’re almost the same age and it feels great to have her back in my life. Here’s hoping you don’t have to wait that long to reconnect with your cousin Jonathan.Report

    • I had a “cousin in law” who I was kind of close to and got along well with. One of my first cousins (who is actually a lot older than I am) married someone with two children. And I got along pretty well with both of them but bonded with the older. We saw each other maybe two or four times a year at family gatherings. But we enjoyed each other’s company.

      Anyway, my first cousin and the person he married got a divorce, and I don’t think I saw them again. Or if I did, it was only rarely.Report

  2. Maribou says:

    I lost touch with my cousins after I dropped out of college and immigrated down here, and I didn’t think I would ever get that connection back. We eventually got it back (at least insofar as one can, when separated by a mere 2600 miles) – I can’t imagine going back home and not seeing them, now.Report

  3. zic says:

    I have two sort of odd losses; a cousin and an uncle.

    Both are former military, and work(ed; past tense for my uncle, he’s retired) in national security. Both had offices in the Pentagon on 9/11; my cousins office was hit; he wasn’t there. And I did a lot of reporting about the military; so there’s so much I’d like to ask.

    The won’t talk about it at all.

    And it creates a funny sort of wall, a painful wall, we cannot cross.Report

  4. Pyre says:

    You will not forget but you will not necessarily restore. As this article points out, that is not a bad thing.

    Sometimes they will come back into your life. After a close-to-a-decade absence which occurred because of E-mail and physical address changes, a woman that I knew in college found me on LinkedIn. We’ve been trying to maintain the E-mail correspondence.

    Other times, there will be blood ties that keep the relationship semi-alive. In a surprisingly unsolicited call from my older brother, I casually mentioned that it was okay that he didn’t have time to talk much because he has a family now. The implication that I didn’t really consider myself part of his family was somewhat of a shock to him. Since then, I’ve tried to put some effort into communication. However, I am aware that, if/when our mother dies, the tie that binds the four brothers together will come undone. When that happens, I am sure that I will lose contact with, at least, one of my brothers. Possibly more.

    Sometimes, two people just drift apart though. To bring this close to home, Jaybird and I have known each other since High School. I was there for the exes before Maribou and I was there after they got married.

    But, for the last few years, we’ve just drifted apart. On the rare occasions that we do see each other (for something that isn’t wrestling), we always tell each other “We should hang out more often”. But we don’t. I suspect that the last few times that we’ve said that, we both know that we won’t. With my current job search pulling me out of the Springs, the chances are very good that this year will be the last year that we see each other face-to-face.

    It’s the way of things. The people you grow up with gradually marry while you remain single or they move to other parts of the world while you remain behind or you are the one who is doing the marrying/travelling. Either way, you have less to talk about or less time to interact until the connection fades away.

    But it doesn’t have to be sad as long as you cherish the time that you did have with each other.Report

  5. Zane says:

    This was really nice.

    It sounds like you really value your cousin’s presence in your life. You mention some unanswered texts. If you wanted, you could try to contact him again. In other ways. A phone call, email, or even a real letter (!) can grab someone in a way that a text can’t.

    That’s up to you, though. Even though things do just happen, we can decide to take a more active role if we want to. Sometimes the same result occurs, but we don’t know if we don’t try.Report