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    Saturday
    Jun042011

    Apart, But Not Separate

    Another memorial service behind us, the family drifting back to their lives and homes, our sons driving and flying away. 

    It was good to be together, and GB enjoyed time with his brothers, nieces, nephews, cousins, and an aunt.  Texas is even hotter today than the days before, but not unbearable.  There have been moments cool enough to sit out in the courtyard.  A couple of crows (since one is noticeably smaller than the other, I think I mean couple in the mated sense) have become enamored with the backyard and we’ve enjoyed their antics.  My mother-in-law has graciously allowed me to stay with her all this week, and GB is on the road home.

    For several generations now, as our society has become more mobile, leaving home means more than just moving into a place across town.  Young people are continuing their education, getting married, starting careers, and embarking on adventures, mostly away from their parents and childhood homes.  Away, as in more than just a few miles.  I consider our technological advancements a ‘mixed bag’ - it’s great that we can chitchat (even face-to-face) with our family no matter where in the world they live; but there is also a trend toward techno-relationships, which replaces close-proximity, deeper contact.  It’s hard to read body language and facial expressions over the phone, or via email, facebook chats, or Instant Messaging.  Nuances of conversation are lost or scrambled as they travel over wire and through the atmosphere.  Short dialogues, superficial interactions, have replaced long, into-the-night, conversations.  Yes, I’ve had many wonderful phone chats, full of meaning and importance.  But, Up Close and Personal can never be replaced by the next generation iPhone.

    Watching, and engaging in, the family interaction these past few days reminded me of the importance of catching-up.  It’s great if folks can pick up where they left off, when last in each other’s company.  The importance of family gatherings, as well as friend time, has been discussed more than once on this site, but it’s never more evident than when witnessed first-hand.  I would encourage you all to take advantage of opportunities to be with family and friends.  If you can’t always be close, then do avail yourself of our techy blessings - talking with good friends on the other side of the world has never been more easy!