Got an email yesterday from my ex-sister-in-law. It was my first direct communication with her in over a decade. It was more than nice to hear from her.
She and her husband live down in Lake Jackson, Texas – a little more than spitting distance from here – and we had basically lost touch. I didn’t want to lose touch with her forever since I really like her very much. In fact, I like her enough that I would still like to consider her my sister-in-law, even though her big sister and I divorced over 15 years ago. I mean, I didn’t divorce her, just her sister, so I think I would like to keep her in place as my actual SIL. With that end in mind, when I was talking on the phone to my ex a week or so ago (yes, we converse very pleasantly after all this time) I asked for her kid sister’s address and she thought it was nice that I wanted to get in touch.
I have had other sisters-in-law in my matrimonial adventures, but she was the first and most important. As for my others, nah, not so much. Trudy’s sisters have never made any attempt whatsoever to contact me, and Wendy’s sister, as much as I love Wendy and cherish our relationships, is a pretentious asshole whom I quite frankly can’t stand. That’s OK. Neither can Wendy. In fact, it would only cause domestic stress if I actually liked Wendy’s sister.
Anyway, my ‘real’ sister in law is very bright. She’s a fantastic artist, and is also fluently bilingual. She’s cosmopolitan, and did graduate studies in France and elsewhere, and she has a riotous sense-of-humor. Damn it, I’m even missing her more as I write these positives about her.
So, I learned from her letter that her erstwhile ankle-biter kids are now graduating from college, though in my mind they must always be five or six years old because I have no point of comparison; much as she must look exactly as she did when I parted from the nuptial fold with her sister.
As wrenching as that divorce was at many levels, I have no regrets about it. What transpired was for the best for the two primary parties involved. But the point that bites is having to divorce the other people that were important in my life, like my SIL.
Past a certain age life’s losses tend to increase exponentially and in that regard I think it behooves us to hold on to the people we have or become reacquainted with those who have left our scene and who we might like to have back. I think to a degree that can be done, and we should endeavor to do so if it’s important to us. In saying that, I know that we can’t necessarily go home again; nor should we want to. But, the idea of putting a new dynamic onto an old relationship just might have some virtues in terms of human contentment.
The folks that are dead are assuredly that, but those who are still alive should just maybe be cultured and even courted to a degree.
As crass and false as some people see Facebook to be, I have been able to contact individuals long since gone from my life, and have been delighted to do so. So have they to be in touch with me.
It’s not so much that I definitely want to hang with these people, it’s just good to know they haven’t yet dropped off the planet.
So, I am glad I emailed my sister-in-law, and even happier that she took the pains to respond with a chatty, informative and lengthy return email. Maybe I’ll just find myself in Lake Jackson sometime and I know I wouldn’t feel weird about calling her up.