I recently wrote a letter to a family member, that I did not know existed. I was at my mom's house, and going through her holiday mail, when I discovered an unfamiliar name. My maiden name on a letter to her. First name Charlie. Charlie and Ada, to be exact. "Who are Charlie and Ada? I asked my mother. Her age of 80 caused her to reply, "I am not sure".
I needed to find out just who Charlie and Ada were. Could it be that my dad still has relatives in the state of Michigan? I printed out a page with some pictures of mom and us at Christmas and wrote a letter. I included who I was exactly, and that I would love to have pictures of my grandmother Bertha, who also lived in Michigan. My dad died in 1967, and with him died most of our contact with his family. We did hear from a sister, but that was brief.
About 4 days, after I sent off my letter, I received a phone call from Charlie and Ada. I discovered they are my cousins. Charlie's dad and my dad were brothers. Ada is married to Charlie. They were just as happy to hear from me as I was to hear from them.
I am presently in the process of gathering photographs of my family to send to my cousin. Ada is also a scrapbooker like I am. Charlie has pictures of my grandmother. I have none. I will, however have some now, as soon as Charlie keeps his promise to send me copies of what he has.
Why is it that when we are young, we don't care about such things as pictures and letters and keeping in touch with cousins and aunts and grandparents? Reaching retirement age, and having granchildren, and then we want to reach back into our past and grab on to anything and everything that we can find.
Do you know your family well? I discovered an uncle's family, that I had little knowledge of. I hope to enjoy getting to know them better, even if it's only through letters and photographs and maybe telephone conversations. Weaving threads of the past into the fabric that is now.