Today is my uncle's birthday. I feel bad because it just made me realize how unclose (is that a word?) I feel to most of my family. We've lived 30 minutes away from him for two years now and I haven't seen or spoken to him. I saw his wife, once, taking Grandma back to their house. My dad works with him and rarely sees him. They have no kids, so there are no cousins for me to feel connected to. But it's just not this uncle. I an uncle in South Carolina and an aunt in North Carolina, and I haven't called them since we've moved here. My other aunts, uncles, and cousins live 1-3 days away and even when my mom talks about how close her family is, I can't help but not feel close to them. It's not awkward when we get together every 5 or so years, but I could go just as long without calling them or only exchanging Christmas cards. Even with my mom and sister, they do most of the calling.
All of this makes me miss New Mexico, when we lived in the same town with Pat and Kris and their kids. It was the closest I had had family, and I wanted my kids to have a chance to be close to family. They now have 2 cousins that they get to see once or twice a month and more cousins that we see every 6 months or so, but it was great to get together twice a week or more. When we were deciding whether to move out here or not, that connection carried a LOT of weight. I miss that.
Happy Birthday Uncle Paul!