Monday, 2 March 2009

Where there's a will, there are relations...

I am delighted that I've made an acquaintance with a lost lost relative who lives in Canada. Hello Christine! The thing is, it took the sad passing of her mother to bring us together. I knew from our family history that someone - I had no idea who - lived in Canada. Someone connected to my grandmother.

By coincidence, I rekindled my acquaintance with another first cousin once removed (don't ask what that means) Anita just a couple of years ago having not been in touch for donkey's years. It was Anita who identified my Canadian first cousin also once removed. I don't mind embarrassing Anita , because I haven't identified her, by saying she is a one off kind of person in a family that keeps in touch with everyone no matter how distant and keeps a grip on what's happening. She cares for those who are not well and gives of her time and love freely even though she lives some distance away and has her own family to look after.

My brother in law is the same. Through the years, he has maintained a positive contact with all his close family even though some of them did not used to talk to each other unless necessary. He is another of this kind I am referring to - they deserve awards.

As a nation, we have perhaps lost in part the ability to keep our relatives close by in our hearts and do the right thing when necessary without living in each others pockets. The same might be said of our neighbours - well those we get on with. What is that? Good citizenship, having a conscience or just being a good person. Being able to bury the hatchet, put trivial disputes the origins of which are probably long forgotten behind us and move on - life is too short to harbour grudges and animosity. To be bitter about something or someone will drive you into an early grave.

I don't know much about the Bible (and this is not preaching because I am not a religious person as such), but it accepts that forgiveness is not a right to expect nor is it automatic that it be given. Why would you or should you forgive someone who has murdered a loved one of yours for example or committed some other grievous crime against you and I don't think anyone in their right mind would expect you to. For me, to give pity and to feel sorry for someone is the greatest weapon in your arsenal and move on. It isn't forgiveness but allows some peace perhaps. Whilst one may personally decide to forgive, ultimately, to forgive is a divine right and there's only one 'person' that can give it.

So make allowances, bite your tongue, make contact, say hello, share a cuppa and friendships and relationships will bear fruit - perhaps, but how do you know unless you try?

Elbert Hubbard in The Notebook, 1927 said, "Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you."

Chat soon


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