I haven't seen my niece Sage since she moved to the West Coast. She's been living in Portland, Oregon for over 15 years now where she is divorced and co-parenting her nine-year-old boy. My 30-year-old son Judd took a position as an associate in a Portland law firm last month and moved there from Cleveland with his new bride. When he went out for the interview Judd met with his 48-year-old cousin whom he hadn't seen since he was around her son's age. I wonder if I ever mentioned, or if she told him that she felt him when he was in my belly when we visited her at college in Massachusetts. How the years fly by and distance separates us.
The cousins have scheduled a get-together brunch of all days on July 8. When Sage called Judd to find a mutually good date, she suggested, "how about on your mom's birthday." After spending years recording all of our relatives' birthdates it was interesting to learn that my niece still remembers mine. No call, no card, no verbal or written recognition but it is meaningful to know that she does have the date in her mind. Just as my mother would say every Thanksgiving that it was her niece Lois's birthday as she wondered where her forever moving niece was living that year. When I became acquainted with my much older cousin who had lived in 10 different places around the world wherever her husband was stationed in the army, she was touched to know that an aunt in a faraway state, whom she had only visited twice as a child, thought about her on her birthday.
I now have that feeling. When my son told me that his cousin Sage suggested my birthday his reaction was also, "Oh wow." I laughed as I said, "Great, you can toast me...or roast me." It will be interesting to see what other stories he comes back with and what reaction we get when we visit in Portland.