Sunday, November 20, 2022

A time away

I went to my cousin-in-law’s birthday party yesterday evening, and that meant I got to catch-up with family members I don’t see very often. It was an awesome time—yummy food, great talks, lots of good vibes. And yet…

Obviously, I thought about Nigel a LOT, especially about how much he’d have enjoyed the night, but last night was much easier on me than the last get-together a couple years ago, which was something like five months after Nigel died.

Yesterday, I wore his bracelet as well as a ring he used to wear many years ago, something I do when I go somewhere and want to “bring” him with me, symbolically speaking. I do that all the time, actually, but I seldom mention it, though I think I should talk about such things more often. [I talked about the bracelet in a post from October 2019, and in a post about Nigel’s birthday last year, I included a photo in which I’m wearing both the bracelet and the ring, though I often wear the ring on my right index finger.]

The reality is that Nigel is never far from my thoughts, and family gatherings turn the dial up to 11. I know that’s just how it is, and I’ve found coping mechanisms that work well for me. Other people may find other things that work better for them, but the key is knowing oneself.

All that’s just my constant background reality. Yesterday, I had a lovely evening together with the large extended family. Even I, despite everything, can be aware of and appreciate how lucky I am.

A footnote: I seldom mention folks by name because it’s not my place to tell their stories—that’s up to them to tell their own stories, or not, their choice. However, I’ve always enjoyed coming up with fun titles or nicknames for folks in my life, and “cousin-in-law” is one of those (it covers a large number of people…). There’s no such title, of course, and yet, maybe there should be?

The two-photo montage up top shows some of the countryside in the King Country, a region of the Waikato a bit more than an hour’s drive south of Hamilton. The party was held there, and a lot of the family lives in or is from that area. I created the photo montage for my personal Facebook.

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