A family member and her husband stopped by to visit briefly for a few hours while travelling for a vacation. They treated us to lunch, during which I asked how her kids were doing. She said "Thanks for asking," with some delight. My wife observed/opined later on in the day that this was very appreciated.
That caught my attention, and made me reflective. I mean, more reflective than usual. For a variety of reasons I have lost touch with a lot of people over my life. But it is more poignant when they were close relationships.
Not long ago told a Meetup group co-organizer I was considered leaving the group. It was nothing personal - it just seemed like time to move on and I felt spent. She remarked that in her opinion it was a bad idea, and that I may not understand the value of the network I had there. My reaction was that, this may be true - I may not fully appreciate what I do have in that network - but at the same time so very often it feels (for reasons that presently escape me) that I cannot effectively leverage that network in a meaningful way. I am "there" but not moving with the flow, like a phantom. I can observe but I'm hardly able to respond in real time or interact in a way that causes substantive growth personally or in the relationships.
I have felt the same way about many of my family relations for most of my life. It is pretty painful, actually.