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Keeping Family Connections Alive is Important

Posted in Family Updates

A few days ago, something happened that inspired me to write again here. I’m sure you remember John, the newly found cousin I wrote about in 2016. Back then, we visited him and his family in the rural area where they lived and had a really fun day, learning about their hunting in the nearby wilderness, and about their awesome gun collection.

After this outing, we said we would meet up soon and we even promised to make annual hunting trips. In the first two years, we managed to keep the promise of organising hunting trips every year – however, after that, we got caught up in different things and it was difficult to stick to this promise. The distance was also a bit problematic since they moved to an even more remote area.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday. I called John’s house to see if we can resume this year’s hunting trip. I had planned an even bigger group of our family members joining this time, as I had been telling them about our trips with John and some other relatives also showed interest to join. His wife Helen answered the phone and told me that John was in the hospital for a few days now, recovering from a heart intervention. The intervention consisted of a surgical procedure called a heart bypass, also known as coronary bypass surgery.

Apparently, John had been experiencing chest pain, which he first dismissed as just a cold. But as it got more severe, they decided to go to the hospital. As it turned out, the arteries that were supplying his heart muscle with blood were narrowed, which resulted in less blood flowing into his heart. This, in turn, caused the severe chest pain he was having. I was shocked: he seemed so healthy with all those nature walks and life in the country in general, I honestly would have never thought that at his age he would be having these kinds of issues.

I was really sad to hear this news; I was also a bit angry that I didn’t try to meet up more, despite the fact that he lived so far away. The next day, I visited him at the hospital. He seemed okay, happy to be alive, and preparing to be released soon. I noticed that he didn’t wanna talk about the surgery, so I tried to avoid the subject and keep the conversation casual. He bragged instead about his new tankless water heater in his new home, teaching me about how to troubleshoot problems connected with it. In the back of my mind, however, I kept thinking about the risks that he would have to get used to now. Life will not be the same for him anymore, and he may need another bypass if the arteries get clogged again. But I learned my lesson, I really care about my cousin John and even though he lives far away, I intend to make an effort to meet him more often from now on. You never know when you may end up losing the people you care about.