My big sis called today to say that our cousin Marisol passed away. Click here to read about seeing Marisol in October of 2006, when my grandma was visiting from Puerto Rico and grandma got ill while staying at my place.
Marisol was 44. She was ill and the doctors here in Florida could not figure out what was wrong. She flew to Puerto Rico to be with her family. If I have the story right, her dad went to take a shower and when he came out, he found her on the floor.
I didn't know her well. I just know that when Grandma was ill, she was here and was so sweet. She had just come back from a trip to Europe and was showing me all the great places she went. She fixed my grandparents lunch and was just pleasant. My generation/sisters don't know my dad's family as well as we should. Especially 2 of my sisters and I. Once our parents divorced, we hardly ever saw any of my dad's family. And that's sad as hell. They don't seek us out, we don't seek them out.
I have tons of relatives in Central Florida. Tons. Second cousins, third cousins. I don't see any of them. At all. People who invite my dad and step-mom to gatherings and forget we're here; that we live closer to them than my dad. I have female cousins my age living in Central Florida. With kids my kids' ages. And we are all so involved in our own little microcosms that we never see each other, except birthday parties, and even then, it's hit or miss. Some have never been to my kids' parties. I call to say hi and leave a message on the machine - never get a call back.
I remember being young and always having family around. I just have Swiss-cheese brain and can't remember them. I try to make close bonds now, and it just doesn't work.
Family is the best thing to have. Close family is even better. Even if you have a crazy, dysfunctional, no-one-says-anything-cause-they're-too-polite family, or people-say-too-much-cause-they're-slightly-insane family, at least you have one.
Tell them. Tell them they matter. Call them. E-mail them. Return calls. Let them know they matter.
Forty four is too damned young.