Growing up I had a total of two first cousins on my mom's side of the family. That's all I knew! I have always been envious of people with big families; brothers, sisters, and lots of cousins. I'm an only child and my family is very small, so many of the people who I call "family" aren't blood related at all. I won't give you too much of my back story, but I never knew my dad's side of the family except for a couple of his first cousins and my paternal grandmother. I didn't even know my uncle (his brother - they didn't get along)! Therefore, I never knew any of my cousins from my dad's side.
I like to fiddle around on the website findagrave.com every now and then and I like to leave virtual flowers on my dad's page. One day a few years ago I decided to find my uncle who I never knew and left flowers on his page. As it turns out (just like in my past blog post The Domino Effect), that one small gesture had an impact down the line. You see, my uncle had a son and a daughter who were just a few years older than me. My cousins. FIRST cousins. The son passed away several years ago in a car accident, which breaks my heart because I will never know him. But, his daughter saw that I had left virtual flowers on her father's page, followed my username, and found that I left flowers by her father's brother and called him "Dad". She realized she had a cousin who she never knew existed. So, she decided to take a shot in the dark and messaged me.
That one small gesture that I did one day many years ago has caused me to be able to connect with my cousin. I find this amazing!
The great thing is that she only lives about an hour away from me and we plan to connect with each other and our fathers' cousins in the upcoming months. She wasn't close with her father, so she doesn't really know anyone on our side of the family - not even grandparents! We are eager to fill her in and get to know her since it isn't every day you learn that you have a closely related family member! There are tons of pictures to share and many years to catch up on. I look forward to seeing if we have similar interests and hearing about her brother, my other cousin who passed away.
Life is one crazy ride with many plot twists, I can't wait to see where this one takes me!