Saturday, August 30, 2008

Family Infostructure

I've been rather preoccupied lately. My sister has been diagnosed with cervical cancer and I've been thinking of her a lot. My relationship with my family is distant at best. My parents divorced when I was 10 and my mom took me from Florida to upstate NY. Since I graduated high school 10 years ago, I've only returned to Florida a handful of times to visit. I don't feel very close to any of my family, partially because of the distance, but also I never felt close to them when I was little either. I've always felt like the black sheep of the bunch.

Since my sister has been diagnosed, however, I've been reevaluating my relationship with my family. Time suddenly feels very fleeting and precious. I feel I should make more of an effort to be closer to them. But that natural instinct just isn't within me. I only find myself able to bond with others who share similar interests with me (which I've found very few) and my family and me are like night and day. My father is probably the most similar in disposition to myself, but the years apart have still left this awkward gap between us.

I see how Pat is so close to his relatives and it boggles my mind. In turn the lack of bonding with my own family produces the same sort of confusion with him. Pat calls his mom, or vise versa several times a day. His dad, several times a week. His mom only lives a few blocks away and the thought of moving to a different town is out of the question to him.

I guess it's partly the product of different upbringings that have produced such different family dynamics for us both. Whatever it is, I'm striving to improve mine, but it's hard. I just hope my sister is going to be okay.