Saturday, March 18

The Important People

A graveyard in Grignon, France. I took the picture on a trip to France in 2014.
I’m getting to the point in my life where losses are inevitable. Last week one of my cousins passed away. It was sudden and totally unexpected and came as a shock to all of us.

On this side of my family, my mother’s side, there were fourteen of us grandchildren. We all grew up on farms relatively close to each other. I knew all my cousins well, but because of the age differences between the older group, to which my cousin Don belonged, and the younger group where I fit in, we were often at different stages of life. I remember going to my older cousins’ weddings as a kid. As people grow up, have families of their own and move to different places, you lose touch.

When we moved to Manitoba in 1998, we started hanging out with Don and his family, since they’d moved here a few years previously. It was nice to have family close by. Though we were twelve years apart in age, that kind of gap was no longer an issue, and I really enjoyed his company and that of his wife’s. We got together as often as we could, the last time in November when my brother and sister-in-law came for a visit.

My brother and several of my cousins made the journey here for the funeral last Saturday. I hadn’t seen some of them since my mother’s funeral, more than two and half years ago. It’s not fun to only see your relatives at funerals.

I recently read that studies have concluded what makes people happiest with their lives is their connection to each other. It’s the ties you have to family and friends that makes life enjoyable. Not exactly a news flash, but now science proves it.

Montjuic in Barcelona. Legend says this mountain was a Jewish burial site in medieval times.

Another grave in Grignon, France
My husband and I are committed to making sure Don’s widow Mary knows she has us in her corner. We made plans with another cousin to join him and his family when they’re nearby camping this summer. And there’s talk of a family reunion next summer. I hope it comes to pass. The next time we get together, I want it to be for a joyous occasion.

I guess my point is, don’t let your life get so busy you forget the really important things. And the important people.

8 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss, Jana...prayers for your family. I hope that family reunion happens soon!

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    1. I do, too, Kristina. We've already rented a place at the National Park so we can meet with some of my cousins this summer. Looking forward to it.

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  2. My deepest sympathy to you and your family, Jana--and yes, you are so right about not getting so busy, we forget what's really important. Family, whatever form that takes for you, is what's important. Hugs, baby.

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  3. Very good points--ones we all need to pay attention to. I'm sorry for your loss.

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    1. Thanks Liz. I'm really bad at keeping in touch with people, but I really need to make a better effort. The older I get, the more important it becomes.

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  4. Jana - I'm sorry about your loss, and glad you are keeping your cousin's widow in your plans! I'm sure she will appreciate the support!

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    1. Thanks Ava. My husband and I plan to take her out to lunch this week. By now her children will have gone home and back to work, so we want to make sure she has company. She said to me at the funeral that her hardest days are to come, and if I can ease that just a little bit, that's what I want to do.

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