Relationships are not stagnant. They change with the seasons of our lives.
My two brothers are much older than I. When we were young, they played cruel tricks on me, often bringing me to tears, then laughed as my mother scolded them. Before his death from complications of Parkinson’s Disease, Bill, the instigator of most of my childhood teasing, resided in an assisted-care facility, confined to a wheelchair. Gary and I visited him regularly, though not often enough.
Relationships mold our lives. Never an affectionate family, my brothers and I seldom hugged each other over the years. And I can’t remember a time when either of my brothers kissed me, or I, them. At the end of each visit with Bill, I planted a quiet kiss on his forehead. Gary and I now exchange a hug whenever we get together.
Time warms some relationships, and cools others. Gary and I have a closer relationship now than I’m sure we would have if I hadn’t married his good friend. My mother and her sister, Ruby, were close as children. As Ruby’s alcoholism escalated, my mother’s disdain for her grew. I’m sure they both suffered from the resulting estrangement.
No one is immune from the effects of relationships.