I have a beautiful distant relative–my mother’s cousin’s wife. Irene is originally from Germany, tall, and with a presence I love to be around. She has the barest of accents and I only remember English is her other language because her words are so crisp and clean. She is the kind of relative who brings an air of peace and grace to any family reunion, wedding, or memorial. On the rare occasion when I see Irene, I regret that my life doesn’t bring me closer to hers.
At the last reunion, I fussed at her a bit, confessing how I wished to see her more and how willing I was to make great leaps to drive hours to her home or invite her to some event.
She looked at me softly and said in her flawless English something wise I cannot remember exactly. But the essence went like this: “Some of our lives are not destined to be together everyday. Our love is not less for this. It only means we rejoice more when our paths cross.”
I remembered her words last week when I thought of the sweet little boy I once fostered and hoped to adopt but could not. I think of him more every year at this time because it’s his birth month. This year he is somewhere out there being twelve. I sometimes envision what he might look like, squinting at children who might look like him, imagining where he might be.
The trees were full with pink and white blossoms for his birthday, and this year I took pictures with him in mind, hoping wherever he is he sees trees like these. I honestly doubt our paths will cross again, but if they did, I most certainly would rejoice just like I do when I see the lovely Irene.