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Thread: Discovering Cousins

  1. #1
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    Discovering Cousins

    Several years back I recognized a cousin's name on a list serve and got in touch with him. He is 2 months younger than me, and we lived most of our lives up to that point within about 8 miles of each other and didn't know it! [Our mothers were sisters- long estranged, when they each fled eastern Oregon for the Promised Land of California, each with their respective spouses.] Unfortunately, he and his wife were just at the cusp of relocating to Washington state to be closer to their daughter and about-to-be 3 grand kids.

    A few years passed, then I heard from his younger sister! We have connected and have a great time together. Though I am now retired and she, 10 years younger, is still working a very demanding job, we manage to carve out time to attend quilt shows and have lunch together periodically. And she hosts a lavish dinner once a year when her brother visits, and we eat and talk into the wee hours of the morning.

    Then she did 23-and-Me and discovered some of our second cousins, 2 women/sisters in their 70's, who also quilt and do crafts. Turns out they have lived about 50 miles away since we were all young kids. I am both sad and excited to have met them. Sad at so many years wasted when we could have been great support and comfort for each other, and excited that we have some time now, though not much, I suspect, because they are both in failing health.

    I'm having a difficult time not being extremely angry with my mother over all of this. She KNEW where their family was, and never shared that information with me. When I asked her about it, she said, "Oh, they just stopped coming around, so I assumed they moved again."

    Then when I ask her about other family/cousins, she says, "oh, look them up on your computer"!!

    I guess my point is that even if the adults can't see their way to being friends, the cousins have a right to know each other!

  2. #2
    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    How wonderful that you are able to connect with this part of your family. I understand your anger with your mom. It's interesting that you share so many interests with your first and second cousins.
    "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart is also." Jesus

  3. #3
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    Glad you are having fun with them. I would just forgive your mom and let it go. I wish I still had my mom.

  4. #4
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    Your mom may have her own reasons, let it go.
    My grandparents family fell apart from what I know over two things; religion and an act of violence. I walked a relative I had never met down the aisle to a seat at a siblings wedding. First I had met them (and they lived within five miles of me, while my grandfather is hours away). First time they talked for 40 years.
    Then I have a side I know has some crazy, some dangerous, and some both in it. Some "disowned" cousins, talked to my Vietnam vet uncle about trying to meet another uncle, and I saw him more stressed then talking about stuff that gives him PTSD nightmares.

    If your lucky enough to get along, enjoy it. Just don't expect others to be able to let go of their own experiences.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sad Eyed Lady's Avatar
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    Very interesting story. I enjoy hearing about these meetings with long lost relatives, especially when they go well as it seems your's has.
    "Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." Leonard Cohen

  6. #6
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Enjoy!

    Until you have walked in your mother's shoes, don't judge. That is my mantra for getting along with others. Let go of any anger and love your mom. She taught you to love, was loving to you so whatever happened in the past had reasons that were valid for her. She owes you no explanation, any attempt to do so will trigger further judgement from you. As TMS has advised above, just let it go. Be the person that you want her to be.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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