When I was growing up, summer was filled with wedding receptions. Someone was always getting married in my father’s large family. And people went to the weddings, and celebrated, and wished the couple well. Over the years, I haven’t made many of the weddings of the children of my cousins. It’s difficult both in distance and the sheer number of second and third cousins I have. (Dad had seven siblings, each had 6-8 children, most had 3-8 children, some of them have 3-8 adult children, so, it’s a lot. And the ‘family norm’ is, if you move away, you stop being invited to life-cycle events of cousins. But that doesn’t apply to your immediate family.)
I have four sisters, and one brother. This summer two of my brother’s sons got married with large celebrations. I’m the only aunt who made it to both weddings.
As adults, the six siblings used to get together. Over the years, that stopped happening with any regularly. The last time the six of us were together was at my mother’s 80th birthday, almost four years ago. I’m not sure that we’ll ever all be together again.
I don’t understand how we got so far apart. My brother didn’t attend my childrens’ bnai mitvot celebrations. Most of my sisters did, but not all. When my nephew got married in Indiana, I was the only aunt who attended, but it was a very small wedding, and I don’t think all my siblings were invited.
Oh well, I’ll go to the next wedding I’m invited to. And I’ll keep inviting them to my life-cycle events. After all, they’re family. And life is meant to be celebrated.