Friday, December 18, 2009

Lost and Found

Yes, it's me again. I found my way back here. I've been meaning to write for some time now, but you know, the holidays and all? And am I the only one that is kind of over the whole thing? Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, the 'magic' of it. I love the look in Chickenhead's eyes when he opens up presents. I love houses that are all lit up like the runway at the airport. I love cookies and hot cocoa, yadda, yadda, yadda. What I don't love is the insane race that we always seem to end up in starting after Thanksgiving. You've got one month to decorate, do cards, take pictures, attend school programs, bake (actually I like this part), buy presents, obsess over whether or not you got the 'right' present, on and on and on. It's no wonder everyone is on edge by now. The most common phrase I've heard this week? 'I am SO over this!' Yeah, me too. It's very easy to get so consumed by all the other nonsense that we forget the real reason for this holiday, and what our family means to us. I'm going to try this weekend to find my way back to the things I really enjoy about the holidays and forget the rest.

Last week, I found a cousin of mine on Facebook. We haven't seen each other in almost 30 years. How did that happen? His father was my uncle, my mom's brother. When my uncle died in 1981, my mom stopped talking to his wife, and so I haven't seen my cousins since then. I'm always kind of taken back when I see or talk to someone from my past. My cousin is almost 40, has a 19-yr old daughter, how can that be? His sisters are in their 30s now and have kids of their own. I feel bad that we've all missed so much of each others lives.

I started going through my mom's pictures. My cousin was only 10 when my uncle died, and he has a lot of questions about his dad. I told him I would do what I could to answer them. Going through mom's photos, I found a lot of pictures of my uncle as a little boy, in high school, then in the Navy. I've scanned them, and am giving the originals to my cousin. I even found a letter that my uncle wrote to my grandparents back in '68. I'll be giving that to my cousin as well, because he told me he didn't even know what his father's handwriting looked like. For some reason, that touched me deeply and filled me with sadness. I want him to have these things, and I think my mom would want him to have them, as well.

Going through the photos also somehow led me to spending a lot of time on ancestry.com. Boy, is that site addicting! Maybe it's kind of nerdy, but I get a real kick out of looking at old census records, and marriage records, and trying to figure out who's who in my family tree.

In a lot of ways, I'm starting to feel like myself again. I don't know who I was for a while, but I feel like the old me. Does that make sense? Probably not, but I feel like a fog has been lifted, and I can breathe again. I think I was a little lost for a while, but I've found my way.

1 comment:

cathycan said...

I have recently reconnected with my cousins! After 16 yrs, a rift in the family, found them on facebook. It feels soo good! I'm hoping for a reunion of sorts...and a mending of the rift between my aunt and my mom.
Have a Merry Christmas!