Recently a visit from a cousin had me looking at things from an entirely different angle. We hadn't had the chance to catch up properly for 39 years.
We had been brought up together as children before her family went to Australia to live. Over the years we would see each other briefly on family occasions like marriages or funerals. These times were usually pretty busy and chaotic - so while we were 'together' we kind of didn't have the time to get into nitty-gritty catch up talk.
This time around she didn't have to go home quickly, so she came to stay. The gap between childhood and middle age did not exist. It felt just as comfortable as all those years ago.
It struck home how shared values and experiences can be life long binding ties and time and distance can be immaterial.