It’s been some time since I’ve been on here. I have been so focused on locating my roots that I neglected my blog.
It has been an exciting couple months. My family tree is looking so good right now. I wanted to share what I have been doing in all this time.
I have experienced a great joy and even greater sorrow all in one week but instead of letting my sadness get the best of me, I will express the appreciation for perfect timing.
I may have expressed my excitement for finding a third cousin, Kenneth, from my paternal grandmother’s side. It was the most exciting thing to happen to me this year! We made plans to meet and stay in contact. The weekend before Thanksgiving, one of my sisters and I went to Georgia to meet with our newly found cousin and his family.
To our surprise, our cousin made a plan for us to travel to Tennessee to meet the rest of the family from this particular branch of our tree. The best part was that my great aunt was still living in the area and I would get to meet a sibling of my paternal grandmother.
I was so nervous but meeting everyone was just like a greeting someone you haven’t seen in a while. I felt the connection to these total strangers; Like my DnA recognized itself in my family.
We had dinner together and went down memory lane, trying to bridge the gaps. It was surreal but the best feeling to have. I grew up with a small extended family. I had many first and second cousins but still felt like there were more people out there, possibly looking for us the same moment I was looking for them. I don’t like to imagine the number of strangers I have come across that could have been family and ironically, my cousin Kenneth and I had a few opportunities to meet throughout the years but the timing was not right.
I believe everything happens for a reason. Some times we don’t like what happens and other times, it is the best thing to happen. I’d like to say that I am not a selfish person but for a moment after Thanksgiving, I was crushed and selfishly I cursed whatever reason that my great Aunt was taken from me.
I had such a great time getting to know her and watching her interact with her kids and grandkids. My grandmother, her sister, passed when my dad was young so I never had an opportunity to meet her. I feel cheated because my great aunt was the last one of that generation. I gained and subsequently lost my connection to my grandmother in a blink of an eye. I am hurting but I know that I need to be strong and think positively about it.
So here is my positive spin.
My aunt was holding on for me. She already wasn’t doing well, although she looked good to me, but held on so that I could hug her and kiss her cheek and tell her that I love her. My dad was so excited to know that she was still alive and I was the vehicle to reconnect them. My aunt was holding on for my dad. My aunt and my dad faceTimed and it was the first time of the evening that I saw my aunt smile. It was amazing to see someone, other than my dad’s siblings, with my dad’s feature. She was so strong and brave because she knew that my life would forever be incomplete without meeting her. My life would have been incomplete without meeting her so I am grateful that I had the opportunity.
I write this with tears in my eyes because there are no guarantees in life. We need to make the best of every situation and love our loved ones the hardest. Take every opportunity to tell the ones you love that you love them and appreciate the gifts they bring into your life. You don’t know if someone will live to be 30 or 130 so whatever you do, share love and positivity.