Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Relative Signs

     This past week was filled with incredible synchronicity, revolving around the two themes of communication and family of origin. The family that I chose to be born into has not been without its challenges, as is the case with most, if not all, families. Family is where so much of our learning occurs, offering great opportunities for growth. The circumstances in my family of origin led to our current situation, where neither my brother (my only sibling) nor I have had any contact with my father for over six years (outside of my son's funeral), the consequence of heartbreaking communication. Our mother, with whom my brother and I were close, died nearly thirteen years ago. Numerous signs flooded in this week, dancing over, and around, all of this - unmistakably powerful and incredibly supportive. 
     Early in the week, I emailed birthday greetings to a paternal aunt who had been a huge part of my life, before cutting off all communication with me, without explanation, a year and a half ago. I think of her often. About an hour after sending that email, I received a phone call from an unknown number. The caller turned out to be a woman I had met once, seventeen years ago, at a birthday party I had hosted for this aunt. The woman explained that she had been an old friend of my aunt's for decades but had had no contact with her for many years now, having been cut off without any explanation. She thought of her often and was contacting me to find out how she was doing. Crazy circumstances, indeed.
     A few days later, I was following up after a call I had made the week before to my mother's only sibling, my maternal aunt in Germany. I wrote her a card, enclosing a photo of her sister's memorial bench, as well as a picture of my grandchildren. She is the only relative I have long-standing, albeit limited, contact with over there. Our communication consists primarily of an annual Christmas card to each other, but for some reason, I had felt the urge to call her.  Later this same day, with the envelope lying on my desk, still waiting to be mailed, I received a Facebook friend request from a woman in Germany, a daughter of one my father's friends, not connected to my maternal aunt at all. The last time I had had any contact with that person and her family was during our family vacation to that country, eighteen years ago. Curious timing, for sure.
     Then, on the weekend, I stopped in at the cemetery, an hour's drive from home, to place flowers on my mother's grave. I only visit a couple of times a year now, preferring to adorn her memorial bench located in my neighbourhood, instead.  The actual date of this particular visit had no significance - I just happened to be out that way for a dinner date with friends. A short time later, my brother texted me, wanting to confirm the date of our mother's birthday. I fleetingly thought he was joking since he always makes a point of acknowledging our family birthdays. When I asked him about it, he told me that he had been thinking about our mom and had momentarily forgotten when hers was. A brief memory lapse required in order for this loving connection to be made.
     Individually, each of these three days had great significance. Taken in its entirety, the week was over the top, and made a huge impression. A colleague of mine refers to these signs as Relative signs, since they relate to what is transpiring in ones life. The fact that the Relative signs happened to involve my relatives, is perfect. Feeling immensely supported by the visible and invisible, I continue to process it all.


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