Our lives are a series of connections made and lost. Some of those connections are slight and fleeting, while others are deep and intense. Many fall between those extremes. Some connections are actually re-connections, having been made and temporarily lost.
And sometimes those re-connections are the result of past connections.
Last May, my father passed away. My mother had passed away 10 years and two months earlier.
Shortly after Mom was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome in 2000, my older sister, Sandy, my girlfriend, Rebecca, and I began holding game nights at our parents’ house. Mom’s disease caused complications, and she was to beware of certain things, such as even minor cuts. We had decided we didn’t want her to be alone in the house when Dad left Thursday nights with my older brother for their bowling league.
Our game nights were family time filled with food and fun. Those nights hold many good memories of laughter and closeness.
When Mom passed away in March of 2007, Sandy, Rebecca and I resolved to continue game night with Dad on Tuesday nights. Unlike Mom, who was open to trying all sorts of board games, Dad would play dominoes only. But, just like game night with Mom, those nights were filled with good times and memories.
After Dad passed away May 2017, Sandy, Rebecca and I realized we wanted to, in some way, continue the family night we had established some 17 years earlier. We were determined to meet regularly.
We settled on meeting at least once a month, on a Tuesday night, to have dinner together. We choose different restaurants each time, and it has become an open opportunity for family members to get together. In fact, at the most recent gathering, my nephew from Florida and three of his children were in town and joined one of my nieces, her two kids and her boyfriend in sharing family dinner night with Sandy, Rebecca and me.
Those family gatherings are special. In addition to being a way to honor the nights we spent sharing laughter and love with my parents, they are also a way of re-connecting with family members.
Similarly, Rebecca and I have a group of friends with which we have dinner with regularly. We began this about a year ago or so, after Rebecca and I told a couple of friends about our Christmas dinners in which we select a different ethnicity to celebrate each year. That couple and Rebecca and I came up with the idea of monthly friendship dinners, which we call Frinners.
Not only are these gatherings opportunities to socialize with friends, they provide a chance to connect, like my family gatherings.
Life is a series of connections made and lost.
The trick is to make more good ones than you lose.