Prior to today, I had only "known" her through the few photos I had been sent, and the few stories I had been told. I had not seen her in real time, moving, talking, experiencing any time "with her" as far away as I am. And I guess that put a barrier up between us, made her seem all the less "real" to me.
This afternoon, I spent almost two hours observing, talking, and falling in deeper love. Thanks to the beautiful invention of Skype, I was transferred into my mother's living room, and was able to talk to her, and have her see me, hear my voice, interact with me.
The first moment Mum moved her monitor and camera and my niece's face encroached upon my screen, tears of complete, unconditional love filled my eyes, and my heart grew several inches in my chest. The instantaneous adoration for this little girl enveloped my entire being.
WOW! I never knew such a connection before, in complete totality. There was a single moment of absolute cognition as my being whispered to me "She has some of my blood coursing through her. She is a part of me." and in that moment, I fell even further and deeper in love.
My niece is a year old. Only recently has my Mother figured Skype out, so I have not had the opportunity before this to "meet" her.
I have lived away from my family home for over eight years now, living on the opposite side of the Continent and in a different country. There have been times when I have grown homesick, but phone calls, emails, and an occasional visit has eased much of any homesickness. I have built a life that is different from my family's and as I have grown up and moved on, the truth of the matter is, we all get caught up in our own lives. We connect at times, touch base, say "I love you", but then we become consumed by our own lives once again.
In the eight and a half years since I moved away, there has only been two times when my heart ached to near breaking at not being home, being right there, experiencing and seeing first-hand. Those two times happened exactly (to the day) three months apart, in 2010.
The first was the day my niece was born. Circumstances were such were there was more than a possibility that I would not have seen her immediately anyway; but to be there with my family, my parents, my siblings, to celebrate, embrace and welcome this new life into our family.
The second was three months later when my Dad passed away suddenly. Once the initial shock and devastation lifted slightly, the only thing that consumed my mind was getting back home. Being with my Mum, sister, and brother. Sharing in the grief as a family under one roof.
Endless phone calls that lasted hours ensued during that first month. And in my mind the only thing I wanted was to be home. But as that first month turned into a second and then a third, I found that my mind began to ease on that feeling of wishing to be home.
Eventually, I will go home; probably not to stay, but for a visit. I realise that my life has moved on. I am a different person. I have grown in a direction that puts me on a different path. And that is OK.
However, moments like today, seeing my niece for the very first time, my arms now longing to hold her, my lips aching to kiss her; and it will happen. We have a life time ahead of us. Until then, we have the beauty of Skype to help us to interact. Today, she not only met me, but my dog and I saw her figure out how to grasp a crayon and draw something for the very first time.
And today, in that instant when I felt and saw the connection that she and I share, the same DNA and blood that courses through both of us; I recognized something deeper, bigger, higher. In a momentary blink, an instant that flashed before me, I became suddenly connected to all who went before me, my ancestors; and my nieces' ancestors - OUR ancestors. I saw the bigger picture for all of us. I recognized it and I embraced it.
In an momentary glimpse of the Universal Connection, I saw all of our DNA strands connecting, inter-mingling, and becoming one.
I saw the truth and absolute meaning in "Namaste" - I see you in me and me in you. Together, we are one.
What a beautiful gift my precious niece gave me today. And how in that alone, it makes me fall in love even deeper and greater; not just with her, but with every single person, we truly are all connected.
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