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The "Lost Cousin"

Some years ago, I was dancing at my cousin Andy's wedding with a woman I didn't really know besides her near-obsession with cows and the fact she dances to "Earl Must Die" at her own wedding (best wedding song I've heard). It was one of those "pay to dance with the bride" things which I didn't really knew existed and didn't know what to do. Fortunately, I'm a fairly decent dancer (I used to love ballroom dancing).

But, we talked briefly about things, then something came up.

When I saw your RSVP, I didn't know who it was at first. Then Andy remembered, you are the 'lost cousin'.

Lost cousin. That hit me in a lot of ways. I don't call people often. I have trouble sending emails or letters. I don't give out Christmas cards or birthday cards. I've gotten a lot of flak over the years about that but it wasn't anything I really felt the need to change.

One time, I called my grandmother and one of the first things she said was:

Dylan, it's been ten years!

Yeah... not my strong point. My brother called me once but never really called me again. It was at a rough time in his life, but... I honestly didn't know what to say. I drifted so apart from my family that there was this huge chasm between us. I didn't know what was happening with my brothers, my father, or anyone besides my mother (I worked for her, so I had to know).

In part of writing My Father's Bike, I started to look at that. The nature of reviewing parts of your life is that you have to, well, pull them apart. While writing it, I decided that I should try to stay at least a little more connected with the rest of my family.

Fortunately, I found out most of them are on Facebook. Which is great because I read the little posts. Though, I post every other day (almost daily with this Oile segment) and a lot more than others, it is a bit more connected.

So, that leads to yesterday. I twittered a short little line:

I think I'm dying. I called a family member just to chat. What's wrong with me?

One of my co-workers decided to call me because of a slight misunderstanding of what I wrote (and the lack of context). It was nice, mainly because he checked on me, but also because he cares. I know my family cares about me, I just couldn't see it for so many years.

I'm still a lost cousin. I don't call very often, but I'm slowly moving back to being part of that family. It is just... hard for me because it is like trying to make friends with complete strangers. They live in a much different world than me, one that I haven't been in for a very long time.