I stumbled across a picture of me and my sisters that had fallen behind the refrigerator. It was taken many years ago - we were grown up, but long before husbands and babies. Then my son asked me when he'd get to see his cousin Zach again, and I had to tell him that he wouldn't see him until next Christmas.
All of a sudden I felt very far away from my family.
I hate how far away my family lives from me. I have six brothers and sisters. (There are 20 years between the oldest and youngest, and we didn't all live together growing up. We have one of those fabulously complicated modern families.) So there are seven of us. We live in Las Vegas, Houston, Canton (Ohio), near Philadelphia, Wilmington (North Carolina), Barcelona, and Boston. Needless to say, we don't see each other all that often. The last time all seven of us were together was my wedding - almost 10 years ago. The last time before that? Can't remember.
Whenever I talk to people whose family lives near them, I get insanely jealous. How fun would it be to be able to have my sisters over for Sunday brunch? Have my mom over for dinner? Go to a baseball game with my brother? Have my sons know their uncles, their cousins? The funny thing is that when I think about where each of us ended up, it seems obvious that we're all exactly where we should be. (With the possible exception of my older sister in Ohio - she's a California girl at heart.)
The distance was easier to handle when we were younger. Our dad drew us together at holidays at least. Now that he's gone, we don't have that pull. My mom and two of my sisters have all been together for Christmas almost every year since then. However, our growing families are now making that difficult as well. Even talking on the phone regularly requires some planning due to time differences and little kid schedules. Facebook helps us connect, but it will never replace an actual conversation.
Oh, I'm rambling. I'm sorry. I think I've forgotten why I started writing this. Perhaps to say something profound about the changing phases of life and the special bonds of sisters. But then if you have a sister, you already know.
I don't know.
I guess I just miss my family.