My extended family - heck, even my immediate family - isn't very connected. It's pretty much always been me and my mom. It used to bother me a lot when I was younger... when my aunts and uncles and cousins, who I only saw every three years or so (even though they were only a half hour drive away) would ask me how I was doing, and barrage me with hugs and wet cheek kisses, as if they knew me intimately and weren't practically strangers.
I'm grown up now, and am not nearly as sensitive about the issue as I was in the past (I honestly don't have any negative feelings at all regarding the fam). I have my own family now, made of close family friends, and my mom. They understand who I am, the difficulties I have with agoraphobia & anxiety, and my unquenchable thirst for creative adventures. And they love me for who I am, and I love them.
On the flip side - if something bad happens to my 'blood' family, it still hurts. Even if I haven't seen them in five years or more (I can't remember when I saw them last, or talked to them last. I think it was at a funeral). Time doesn't seem to matter to me, because the few memories I do have of them from early childhood are strong... I sometimes wonder if any one of them would feel a genuine sadness or loss if they were at my funeral... it kind of creeps me out to think of my funeral full of strangers, obligated to come due to genetics, weeping crocodile tears for someone they hardly knew...
Anyway, today my aunt emailed us at 7am, to let us know her husband had had a heart attack, and was having surgery in the hospital my mom works at. I immediately felt sadness and worry for a fellow human being, and one that I somewhat knew and was considered family... but to say I would be devastated, or feel a huge loss if he had passed away, would be a lie. I would feel sadness for him and his family, but it wouldn't affect my life. And that makes me feel kind of sick inside... and makes me wish we all had a closer connection, before it's too late. Thankfully they got to him in time, and he only had to have a minor surgery to open up an artery, and he is feeling great now.
Another family member, my aunt who is in her seventies, has terminal cancer, and will likely pass away by Christmas. This aunt lives a fair distance away (Florida), and I've only met her once. I feel sadness and empathy for what she is going through, but once again, there is little familial connection.
I'm a big problem solver - if there is a problem, my automatic reaction is to help in anyway I can, and suggest ideas to fix it. Obviously, I could try and make a connection with my extended family, and build some relationships, but the effort would be one sided. They simply aren't interested, and I think they think I'm kind of odd (I am lol). It's one of those things where you can't 'choose' your family, and I'm sure if they had a choice, they wouldn't choose me.
Oh mah gaaawd, I sound like a self-deprecating, emo teenager. Forgive me, just had to get that out. Will try and post something awesome later tonight. *hugs*