Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Reconnecting with Family

My husband’s biological sister contacted him for the first time last week. He heard several years ago that he had a sister but never knew her name or where she was. She tracked him down on Facebook. They’ve been happily chatting back and forth through e-mail ever since.

It has got me to thinking about my own family. My Mother is an only child. There is very little family left on that side. I think she has some cousins in Utah but that is about it. My father’s family is a different story. He has three sisters. There was a schism in the family a long time ago when I was a young child. It is a whole long story in and of itself. The short version was that there were allegations of abuse by his sisters against my grandparents. My father sided with my grandparents. His sisters eventually patched things up with my grandparents but my father never seemed to warm back up to them. Things really fell apart when I was about nine or ten and my cousin committed suicide. There were a couple of family holidays after that but then everyone just seemed to stop trying.

I have also two cousins and my cousin left behind twin boys when he died. I’m not terribly interested in getting back in touch with my aunts, but I might like to get in touch with my cousins and my cousin’s now two grown boys. It seems that all of them are on Facebook. It could be as simple as sending a brief message.

I am hesitant for a few reasons:

1) Although I know some of what happened in the past, I don’t know all of it. Part of me thinks that I might be better off without opening things up.
2) Getting in touch with my cousins would probably mean that I would have to get back in touch with my aunts.
3) I’m afraid that I might reach out and not have my efforts reciprocated.
4) I don’t know what my cousin’s sons know about the family or their father. I would like to tell them what little I remember about their father since they were small when he died and probably don’t even remember him. But…I don’t want to delve into that before they might be ready or even interested.
5) I’m not sure how my parents might react to me reaching out to family.

So, I’m a little unsure about what to do. Should I take the risk and jump right in?

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