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Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

On Family

I spent this past weekend in Buffalo, where my extended family resides. We celebrated my great-aunt and uncle's 50th Wedding Anniversary. The last time I had been to Buffalo was eight years ago, and I hadn't seen some members of my family since that time. Moving around a lot growing up, and having moved away from my immediate family some years ago has left me distanced from most of my family members, both physically and emotionally. We were watching movies of when my mom grew up, just blocks away from her cousins, aunts and uncles, and I felt a bit of sadness that I don't have that closeness, that I never had the opportunity to get to know my relatives so well. I think family is largely what you make it, and I am very lucky to have made a family of friends, but is not quite the same as blood relation. It was hard seeing that some of my cousins, who are my grandparent's great-nieces and nephews, were much closer to my grandparents than I am, mainly because of the geography factor. I was very happy I was able to attend the celebration. It wasn't easy, as kosher food and Shabbos are not regular parts of my family's lives. But I made do, and I think my family was happy that I was able to take part, even in a limited way. I feel, in a small way, I was a kiddush Hashem for showing my family that even though I live this stringent lifestyle that is so different from theirs, that even though I couldn't eat the food they were eating, I could still be a part of the family, and participate in my own way. I hope that the next time I see my family is not another eight years away.


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