Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. Family and dinner. My younger cousin bought a house. My older cousin is pregnant with her second. This year we had "Tom The Turkey," raised by my uncle. Excellent meal. My grandfather is degrading faster and faster. My grandmother, too. These get harder and harder.
We're not close. My family that is. My generation - we swore we would be different, we would keep in touch, stay together, be the glue. We're not. We're not friends. We're each crazy and messed up in our own right. We watch our parents and grandparents move in their patterns. We see each other on the holidays and mean well, but we didn't change a thing.
I know that every family has its problems - its flaws and blemishes, its skeletons and secrets. We are no different and I watch us tear apart for it. I don't know that the happy families exist. I don't know one. Not a one. When my grandparents are gone, the larger family will disintegrate into non-communication and fade away. Twenty years from now, one of us will say to their son or daughter or nephew or niece: "You have cousins in New Jersey/Texas/New York/Massachusetts. We haven't seen them since your great grandfather passed away."
It saddens me.
It's not even that I really want to keep up with these cousins. I don't need the family to persist as it has. It's a wild, growing element that will become what it is to be. I just don't want the next generation, the toddlers now and the ones soon to come, to have the same unresolved curiosity that I sometimes feel. We had family in Germany, in Europe, in Israel. Had.