Sunday, December 16, 2012
I Found a Cousin, Sister...Friend
It all started with a blog..my brother's blog who is in between myself (glasses) and my new-found Cousin Abby on the left. She saw a picture of our great-great grandmother on my brother's blog, emailed him and the rest is history. My brother Gord then sent her email address to his four siblings and Abby and I started emailing each other.
I imagine the last time I ever saw Abby she was around 3 or 4 years old. Now I can hardly give our ages away but that was a "long" time ago for me..When we exchanged emails, we had an instant connection and it started getting quite spooky how much we found we had in common.
Her father is my mother's youngest brother. Both my parents are now deceased but I can imagine my mother especially rejoicing up in Heaven over Abby and I meeting in person this past Saturday. It turns out she only lives 3 hours drive away. So my brother who also emails Abby started making arrangements to meet her. My hubby and I left Muskoka Saturday and he left London with his wife Pat and away we all went. We took many old photographs with us to share with our cousin and she brought along many with her. After all we have over forty years of life apart to catch up on..
We missed each others weddings, the birth of our children, all their school years and birthdays. Abby lived for a few years out on the East coast and her mother is buried out there. So once my husband and I are settled in our retirement home in Prince Edward Island or perhaps even before that we will look up her mother's buriel place and place flowers on her grave site.
We couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces yesterday as we tried to catch up on so many missed years and events. I feel like my cousin and I are kindred spirits. I kept wanting to lean over and give her another hug. My brother and his wife asked me if I would recognize Abby when I saw her and I said: Oh yes, I sure will"..During one of my wash room breaks, Abby entered the restaurant..As I came out of the washroom I happened to look to my right and wow, there she was. I rushed over and grabbed her in a bear hug..Instant recognition.
We had mailed photos back and forth of childhood pictures of ourselves and siblings as well as photos in email so we had a good idea of what each other looked like. But there is nothing like meeting in person. The day went by all too fast so I'm planning on a family reunion this summer for as many as my four other siblings who can make it here. Abby will be our guest of honour.
Abby has three sisters, all grown, some with families of their own. Seeing photos of my cousins all grown up, of their sons or daughters is wonderful. It's so bittersweet to know where everyone now lives, but to realize we missed out on years and years of each other's lives. But not to have met at all would have been worse. And all because our cousin found a picture she recognized on a blog, of our 104 year old great-great grandmother, who was blind but could still sew by hand and would rock away the hours in a day in her beloved wicker rocking chair..
We do not know what life will hand us. Some days it is lemons, sour and bitter. Other days it is cherries, so rosy red and sweet. Saturday is a memory not to be forgotten. Another memoir to write for the three binders I am putting together, one for myself and each of my two children. Now I can add an amazing new chapter of how long lost cousins separated by provinces, towns and cities for far too many years, found each other..who are now rejoicing in a new found friendship that will last for the rest of our lives, no matter where we find ourselves..It is like coming home at last.