Over the last 4 years I have met up with lots of family members I never knew (my Mums birth family) or had not seen for 30+ years (cousins, uncles and aunts), today I got to meet my cousins who I have not seen for 40 years. Only due to Facebook was this possible, I had added cousins, uncles and aunts there and my cousin Gail messaged me a few weeks ago asking if I was the little boy she remembered from all that time back. She asked if I fancied meeting up and having a catch-up and she would bring her sister Lorraine with her. Today was the day, and I had a lovely afternoon chatting and recalling things from when I was 8 years old, I even told them where I remembered their house was, their Dads speedboat colours and many many other things. They were both amazed at the fact I remembered so much from all those years ago.
We talked about family, how my Dads family were estranged due to his lies, telling them we had moved (my Mum still lives in the same house and has done for 46 years) and telling my Nan not to make contact with us. Like me, their opinion of my father is also very low. I was saddened to find that their Dad had died in 1999, but glad to hear their Mum is still alive and living in the same house I remember from my childhood. My Nan was their Nan’s sister, so we talked about both of them and the legendary parties their Nan had at new year. We shared stories of our memories when we all went on holiday to Devon and Cornwall which was quite a thing as there were so many of us there, usually my family, my Nan, their Nan and Granddad, their family, my uncle and his family and another of my uncles, so we are talking 18 people, our dog Kimmy and some years more, so it was quite an event.
Lorraine had to go to the Dentist at 5, so I took Gail home and met her husband and kids, so again more connections added to my family tree. Both girls live around the corner from where I was born and lived as a toddler, and not far from my aunts where we spent lots and lots of time from when we were kids to my late 20’s. The coincidences were in abundance, and we think that we would have passed each other many many times, but never known it. Gail and her husband also go to the pinewoods all the time, so it is possible that we have passed each other again, but never known it.
We have vowed to keep in touch and to meet up again in a week or so and bring our spouses with us, and when they are going to the woods to let us know and we will meet them down there and our dogs can meet too. This seems like the first of my family that genuinely want to keep in touch, and we are planning to go and visit their mum as a surprise too.
So today’s reunion has been a good day all round and I am looking forward to the next chapter.