I traveled with my son to Oregon to see his big sister and meet her family this past week. It was an amazing trip, and not nearly enough time.
I’m sad today because we’ve been home two days now, and I finally caught up on sleep, and necessary life tasks, and have time to reflect on our short visit and how much I miss being with my son, and how we hadn’t seen his sister for ten years!
She’s always been in my heart, and I think I waited for her to make contact because I’m not really anything to her except her brother’s Mom, since her Dad and I parted (and her Dad and I had a strained relationship for so long), and I didn’t want to impose on her. She was busy with college and work and living.
I think I was wrong. I should have pushed it more, then all that time wouldn’t have gone by without connection. Mostly, I felt that it was up to them. My son and his sister kept in touch by email, and with Facebook, and I don’t care what the new ‘norm’ is – Facebook, Skype, email, etcetera – do not replace meeting in person! No electronic media approaches being in someone’s physical presence. There are articles saying that people have less need to meet in person because they’re so connected electronically. Excuse me? These are human beings were talking about, right? Does anyone remember the psychological studies about the need for touch?
I don’t doubt that we connect through social media – and it may even save people’s lives – but it cannot replace face to face contact. Being present with those we love fosters communion, strengthens bonds, and rejuvenates our spirits. Physical presence stimulates all sorts of neuro-chemical reactions that help us thrive.
I never think I can love someone more than I do until I am with them. Maybe I don’t love them more, but I am reminded anew why I feel so strongly about them, and how much they add to my life. Maybe Skype, and the like, approximates that because you can see and hear the other person, or people, but you can’t touch them – and that will always be missing – even when ‘touch’ becomes available artificially.
Regardless, I know that saying: ‘don’t be sad because it’s over; be glad that it happened’, and I am, but also, stop trying to take my sadness from me! Being sad is as much a part of my condition as being happy is. I’d like the balance to reflect more of the ‘good’ feelings, as do we all, I would hope. I’ll feel better in a few more days as our trip recedes into deeper memory, but the feelings are visceral now because I know what I’m missing. I don’t want ten more years to go by before we’re in their presence again!
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.