One of the ironies in my marriage to TOG is that he has very strong ties to his friends and family... and this area of the world. While I've been aware of that throughout our marriage, I didn't fully realize until this summer how different our connections are to those around us.
While TOG has spent virtually his entire life in this area, my family moved around regularly due to my dad's work. While TOG can name all his friends from school and keeps up with them regularly online, I have only a few that stand out in my memory and no idea of their married names or where they are. While TOG can drive by a corner here and tell you what used to be there 30 years ago, many of the remote sites we lived at in Alaska are now gone.
TOG can sit with his family and tell stories about people they knew for years or reminisce with his sister about people they went to school with. Those joint memories give them fertile ground for many conversations and I think are valuable connections to each other and to their identiy as adults.
In contrast, the only person in my life that shares a common memory of my childhood is my father. While I love seeing my childhood through his eyes, that valuable component of a peer that shares memories of childhood friends and places isn't there. Likewise, I didn't keep track of the people I knew from my first marriage... even friends from early in TOG's and my marriage are gone, like our old roommate and our best man both of whom passed a few years ago.
I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to have those ties to people... places... youth... Whether it's a physical move or simply a change in my life, I seem to have mastered the art of moving nimbly from here to there... packing light emotionally and settling in happily.
Except for my family... TOG and our girls and the grandbabies. I can't imagine what it would be like without them. Just like I can't imagine what it was like for my grandmother when my parents up and moved to Alaska when I was a toddler.
Of course, that was before the technology of today. Smart phones, net books, email, IM, texting, Facebook, etc. It's so much easier to stay connected today.
So... Do you hang onto relationships and nurture them? Do you keep moving forward and enjoy the people in your lives in the moment?
How light do you pack?
PS - Photo above is part of the ruins of Blarny Castle in Ireland