Family. Roots. A sense of belonging. These are my fragmented thoughts of the hour ...
It wasn't all that many years ago that the mere idea of attending a family function where I didn't expect to know anyone except the family-of-honor would have had me running for cover. Anxiety would have ruled and most likely I would have found my way out of going.
Old habits die hard. I still felt a tiny bit of that child inside of me. I was a little apprehensive, but I powered through it (good girl! ... that is what being over 50 buys you! The invincibility card). I went. And I am very glad that I did.
It was easy. It was fun. I actually felt like I belonged (life long habit of insecurity speaking here). I belonged. Because I am family.
I sat with a handful of people I knew. It felt like every time I turned around, there was someone to talk with.
I was plunked down in the middle of a town that I am not connected to in any tangible way. Any other time I have attended a function in that town, I have been my mom's tag-along. Yesterday? I wished that mom was with me. But it did me good, to know that I could do it on my own.
But I wasn't on my own. I tagged along with My Uncle. My Aunt was not with him. They used to go everywhere together. And she is gone.
As much as I wished Mom could be there, I was comforted by the fact her absence was simply her choice (two long distance family events, in close proximity to each other). My Uncle was not comforted by such a luxury.
Walking into a room full of family and friends made it easy. Easier, perhaps. Being enveloped within the comfort and warmth that comes from people you have known for a lifetime eases the loneliness. It was easier than I thought it would be. I hope that My Uncle felt the same sensation at the end of the day ...