When I have to tell people that my blood relatives have mostly stopped talking, people think this happened as a result of my conversion to Judaism. Actually, it's the reverse. I grew up in a happy home. Yes, my parents were divorced but, I had my mother, my grandmother, an aunt who lived around the corner and a father who lived not too far away. My mother's sister had five kids and so, I had these cousins I was sort of close to, as well.
My mother was REALLY big on holidays. When Xmas came around we *had* to decorate the house. We didn't just put up a tree. We put lights around our front window. We put these window stickies up on the window for our door to the outside (the side door was ours and the landlord who lived upstairs used the front door.) Whenever, any holiday came around, we were off to her sister's house. During the week, we were off to her sister's house. My grandmother used to say that her car knew the way to her other daughter's house. Even non-family holidays, my mother was big on them. If it was Valentine's Day, we just *had* to wear red and get valentines for our classmates and green was mandatory on St. Patrick's day.
However, something happened... first my grandmother got sick, then my mother got sick and eventually passed away. Two of the five cousins have died. My aunt and my sister stopped talking. I went off to college. When I transferred to a local public college from my private college in the sticks, I found that the family had really disbanned itself. My grandmother eventually passed on but, no one told me about it. Apparently, they expected me to call my mother's cemetary periodically to see if my grandmother had been checked in.
The interesting thing is that when I think about how close my family was at one time, I don't think I would have converted if I still had that family. I wouldn't have wanted to give up all those family gatherings. When I ask why I had to lose my mother which set in motion the whole family falling apart, I think that maybe it's because I was supposed to convert to Judaism. So, here I am, Jewish, as I find that water (my Jewish friends) is thicker than blood (relatives).