This week I got a chance to speak with a long lost cousin I had not talked with for about 12 years. It wasn't that we had a falling out or anything, we had just let life get in the way, and time flew by.
But, I finally picked up the phone and reconnected, and I can't even tell you how happy I am that I did.
You see, my cousin Carol is in a nursing home where she has lived for the past ten years. She suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis, and now is in a wheelchair, but her mind is still as sharp as can be. Carol was known as a trailblazer in her day, fighting her way through college, roaming Europe as a single woman before it was cool, fighting for women's rights, and challenging men along the way. She was also one of the best midwives in California in her day.
You see, my parents were so proud of her they gave me her middle name, something I am very proud to carry.
I had been thinking about her a lot the past few months and finally decided to stop thinking about her, and just call.
It was like no time had passed at all. While her body might be slowly losing the battle with time and the disease, her mind is nowhere near ready to give up the fight. After calling her and hearing how happy she was to hear from me, I decided I had been away long enough. I packed up my mother, my sister and my nephew and we hit the road for the Los Angeles area to see her in person.
She sat in the lobby waiting for us, and was so proud to introduce us to everyone we met as "her family". I was so touched that our visit meant so much. And then, for the next two hours we talked about everything from 9-11, to the economy, to college entrance requirements and even our favorite TV shows and authors. It was an amazing two hours that truly fed my soul.
As we said our goodbye's and pulled away, I vowed that 12 more years would not go by again before talking to this amazing woman.
So, if there is someone out there you haven't spoken with in awhile, pick up the phone or get in the car. It is well worth the time!