Ok, I've been meaning to post this for a while now.
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by someone on Facebook. His name was James and he added me as a friend, with a note saying "I think we might be related." Me, being rather skeptical about most things, added him in good humor, with the comment back "Ha ha, you never know," or something to that effect. Yeah. How wrong I was! It turns out that James' father is my father's brother (yes, you did do the math correctly, "that would be my uncle). Subsequently, I began finding all of these other people on Facebook who I happen to be related to. A cousin-in-law (is that the term?), a couple of uncles, another cousin...it was all so strange!
Now the story behind this is as such: My mom and dad divorced when I was about 2. I spoke to my Dad on and off when I was growing up, but it wasn't until after college that I actually started speaking with him a lot. A lot of credit goes to my Dad's wife, Judy, who I think initiated a lot of it. I never got to meet any side of his family, due to them being spread out, a few conflicts, etc (I didn't ask too much of th details), but he did tell me a bit about them, as much as he could anyway. So me, being contacted by a relative I had never met before, was definitely a wow.
My Uncle Joe keeps has a website with info of our family tree. He told me a story about how he got on Facebook, so I want to begin with that, because without Facebook (no, I don't advertise for them, though...hey, Facebook, I can shamelessly plug you guys if you want to pony something up) I wouldn't have found all of these wonderful people. So here is his story, straight from his words:
"On the first day of Kindergarten I met a little girl who was standing in front of me and looking as lost as I felt. Her name was Margaret and nine years later we both graduated from the 8th grade and then proceeded to follow divergent paths in life for the next 47 years.
In 2008, while browsing a list of names of adults who had once graduated from the same school that I had, I spotted her name. I thought it was unlikely that after almost a half century that she would ever remember me, but after a brief introductory email I was proven to be wrong. After catching up on the years in school and our lives, we continued to exchange emails and photos of grandchildren, etc. for the next several months. Knowing that I had a love of pictures of our hometown taken during the years growing up there, she suggested that I sign up with Facebook because they had a couple of groups that focused on those photos. Having looked at Facebook before, I wasn't terribly interested in it, but there were groups on the site that I thought might be interesting. I signed up, located Margaret as well as my sister, a brother and a niece.
Before I knew it I was contacted by relatives that I knew existed but had never met, and didn't really have any idea where they were living or anything about them. I was just amazed when they did that. Well, for the next few days we started exchanging emails and getting acquainted with one another. And to think that if I had not met that little girl on the first day of Kindergarten over a half century ago, none of this might have ever happened.
Margaret, thank you so much for your friendship and your suggestion.
So that's where this story begins. Over the next few weeks, when I have a bit of time to spare, I'll chronicle the family's "reunion" and let y'all know how it goes.
Oh yes, Congratulations to my cousin James and his wife, Mandi who became parents for the second time! Charlotte Katherine was born this morning! Just more family to love!