I've been distanced from my unloving dysfunctional family since leaving home long ago. While maintaining limited contact with my parents and sister, I grew completely apart from my brothers. After a 30 year gap of silence, I reconnected with two of them and have maintained a yearly relationship since. While visiting my Dad recently, my third local brother whom I hadn't seen in 46 years stopped by the house. It was an awkward meeting but pleasant surprise. Over the next few weeks, as my Dad got sick and quickly died, and afterwards as estate issues developed, we got to know and respect each other a bit. Dad's death essentially reunited us as brothers again.
My family remains dysfunctional with no one wanting to be around the other much. I've learned though that old, lost relationships can be restored again since I've not only done this with family, but with 8 of my old school and work friends - some dismissed 20-30 years ago.
As I grow older, I get more sentimental about old relationships. I value them more, and because I remain single in life, I seem to need them more than my friends who all have spouses and children. So, I have to be the one always reaching out, working to pursue or maintain a relationship. It may not be easy or fair, but I think it's worth it, because life is about relationships.