Something that saddens me a great deal is the disconnect that many modern families experience. In spite of best intentions, we really don't get to see our extended family members as often as we would like. It makes me sad that some of my nieces and nephews don't know me very well. I really admire those people who make it a priority to stay as connected as possible--I want to be more like that. I have tried taking a few steps in that direction. All my family members' birthdays are marked in my calender to help me remember. I have a goal this year to be better about getting cards sent out . . . it is a work in progress. There is still something special about getting something in the mail--as "outdated" as snail mail has seemingly become.
My grandmother was amazing at this. She wrote weekly letters to my parents until she was physically unable to do so, and always included something small for me in there as well. Stickers, a piece of gum . . . just a little treat to say "I love you" in the mail. It always made me feel closer to her. I have heard similar feelings from my cousins--we all felt special because of her little remembrances. She had so many grandchildren . . . something over 40 . . . but I think we all felt like we were her "favorite."
I would like to be more like my grandmother in this way. I want my nieces and nephews to know their Aunt Alicia loves them, is their friend, and will be there for them as they get older and need support. Hopefully I will get better at it as I get older--but I'm trying. And at the end of the day, I hope that's what counts.