In a recent post I mentioned how doing research for a family tree has sparked some memories from my life. This past week I had to distance myself from this research, as it invaded my dreams, and it was really all I could think about. But, it stayed in my mind, especially since I found my paternal progenitor, and am amazed at the history I come from.
Being busy with my family history, brought back memories of the cousins we had contact with. Now on my mom’s side I really had contact with all cousins, but with my father’s family spread out over thousands of kilometers and the way my father grew up, we had much less contact with them. Yes, we visited them occasionally, but sometimes years went by without seeing them. Those who lived closer were seen two or three times a year, as still hundreds of kilometers separated us.
With doing the family research, I started feeling the pull to get in contact with some cousins, and at the end of last week I bit the bullet and turned to Facebook to find them. I don’t know why I waited until then, I just did. Maybe I needed to be mentally ready, I don’t know.
I was surprised when I found quite a couple of them, and even discovered that my favorite cousin on my father’s side, was on my father’s Facebook. How had I missed that in the past. I found 5 cousins and sent them all friendships requests, and a private message of who I am, mentioning my father’s name.
It took only one minute from the moment I have sent the message for my favorite cousin to accept my friendship request and message me, and only five minutes later we were talking on Whatsapp!
Memories frozen in time
We started talking, first asking about our respective families — are you married? how many children do you have? do you work? what do you do? — and then of course started sharing memories of our childhood.
I believe you and me were quite close was something he said, and I confirmed that, but omitted that one incident between us, when we were children.
I remember our other cousin’s wedding we went to. I said, and he remembered too, and also how we jived together, feeling all grown up while we were only teenagers.
You wrote me letters when I was in the army.
I was amazed when he shared this with me, as I couldn’t recall this at all, but instantly realized how much it must have meant to him, remembering it after 30+ years. He told me that I sadly stopped when I got married. This was 1987!
We shared memories of our cousins, of those living too far away to have any kind of bond with them, and how both of us have brothers we don’t have any contact with. We talked about our divorces, about our children, our grandchildren, and it just felt like we picked up things where we left off.
But we didn’t. We talked about memories we share. Memories frozen in time. Our memories. And you know what? Being in contact again with blood binding us, we can make new memories. Even though it’s been 33 years since we last were in proper contact, time seemed to fade away once we were talking again.
More searching to do
My oldest knows that I am searching for family, and she mentioned that she really want to find her father, that she wants to know what he looks like, where he is in life. I have always said that if my kids want to look for their fathers (yes, plural) then I will help them. I have very little information about him, but have started the search, and will help her to find him, if he is still alive. Once we suspect that we have found him, she will ask a mediation agency to get in contact with him, as she doesn’t want to upset his current life.
Looking at the little information I have on him, memories of that time in my life — being pregnant at 16 and the turmoil that followed between the discovery and the birth of my daughter — came flooding back. Each a moment framed with sadness and hope.
Life has many twists and turns, and where sometimes we look back on things and wish we can change it, my cousin said something important in that first chat we had: You can’t write in a full book…
© Rebel’s Notes
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