Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Growing Family Tapestry

Mail is generally a non-event in our house. It's mostly bills, donation solicitations, junk mail and various catalogs. Today it included two Christmas cards.

One was from a cousin who recently moved from Oregon back to California. She and her husband are planning to drive up to visit us while we are staying with our oldest son over the holidays. Her card just confirmed that. I'm thrilled. I haven't seen Jen in probably 20 years.

I didn't recognize the name on the other card. I thought it was one of those "handwritten" card advertisements and almost didn't even bother to open it. I glanced again at the front of the envelope. The return address was in Colorado. At second look I thought it was an old friend of Tom's who had moved to Denver in the 70's. But the last name was different, so I knew it wasn't from Pete.

I decided to open it.

Under the printed holiday greeting was the usual handwritten message, With Love, followed by the names of all the family members, names I did not recognize. Thinking I had inadvertently opened someone else's card that had been incorrectly delivered to our address, I looked on the front of the envelope to make sure it was addressed to us. It was addressed to me "and Family."

I opened the card again and read the handwritten note on the left hand side:

"Hi Terri,
I am your cousin. I am Lyle's daughter. My mom said you were working on family history. I can give you a little info......call me. I would love to talk to you and get to know you."

I was stunned. As I wrote in a previous post, I hadn't seen my uncle and aunt and their family for at least fifty years when they and my parents parted ways. The last time I saw my cousin, she was probably four or five years old.

When Tom got home, I handed him the card and said, "You will never believe this."

When he finished reading, he looked up, "Wow. After all these years. Are you going to call her?"


"Good for you. Maybe in the future, we can take a trip so you can reconnect with your family."

"Maybe we can," I said with a tear in my eye.


altadenahiker said...

Good for you.

I think I know how you feel. Out of my eight cousins, there are four I'm probably never going to meet.

Terri said...

Yes. You do know how I feel.