This photo was taken yesterday of me and three of my cousins. Two years ago we didn’t know of one another’s existence. Their father and my mother were first cousins. Their grandfather, and my grandmother were brother and sister. The last previous contact was in 1965.
I discovered yesterday that my grandmother and her beloved older brother died within weeks of one another in the late winter of 1968.
My family is one that suffered many drifts and rifts over the past century. Over the past dozen or so years I have worked on finding relatives and piecing together family history. I have had the very real pleasure of connecting with people with whom I share a deep bond. I have been learning that I understand the causes of many of those rifts, but those old hurts are not my own. I love that my family is now so much bigger than it was when I was growing up.
I’m sure that it’s easy for you to see how dark haired Leslie and I are related. When I look at my cousin Susan standing to my left I see my grandmother’s face, and my mother’s. A happier face than my grandmother’s to be sure, but it’s my grandmother’s face.
And now, a new topic. My husband often reminds me that I switch topics without warning. This is a new but tangentially connected topic. My husband is a thrifty man. The toothpaste tube that other’s might see as empty, for him is a treasure trove of at least another week of use. Underpants or undershirts that other’s might see as too full of holes to wear are for him perfectly fine , except that there are some holes. I take a new toothpaste tube for myself and give my husband the pleasure of eking out the last droplet of paste. I let my husband decide when an undershirt is ripe for the trash.
A few weeks ago we were supposed to get a new fridge. The new one was supposed to arrive July 3. the driver arrived late and insisted that the new fridge couldn’t fit into our apartment. We cancelled the order and duct taped the the gasket which was draped on the floor back into it’s channel.
We then spent the next few weeks trying to sort out my health issue. The fridge could wait.
Last night, after we came home from spending the day with my cousins, my husband opened the fridge. The door came off in his hand. My husband said that we needed to buy one immediately. We did.The new one is arriving on Thursday.
And the cloud of health crisis that has been hanging over my head all summer is over. None of it is cancer. All of it is fine.