Once my parents got divorced and my father became a strobe light parent (on one moment, off the next), I became much less close with his family. My mother really didn’t want me to have much to do with his people, even though they constantly reached out to me. By the time I understood that fact, I’d already been so removed from them that I had little desire to reconnect.
I continued through life wondering here and there about them and would get the occasional update about my uncles and cousins when I spoke to my dad, and that was good enough for me. When my grandmother (his mom) died, I went to the funeral and met a whole bunch of my family that I’d never seen before. That planted a seed in me to learn more about where I come from but I never really nurtured that desire.
Fast forward to now. D and I are getting our lives in order to start a family, so I’ve been led to wonder a lot more about my father’s side of the “tree”. One of my so-called resolutions/goals for the new year was to put forth an earnest effort to reach out to the cousins I know the best and work from there. I planned on making some calls around March, but I was beaten to the punch.
Last night I got an email from one of my cousins inviting me to our family reunion in Jamaica where we’re from this July. She got my email address from my father–I guess I can’t say he’s never done anything for me. I was afraid to check out the website because I just assumed it’d be some foolishness, but I was pleasantly mistaken. I’m seeing now that just because my father’s middle name may as well be “What The Hell!?”, doesn’t mean they’re all like that.
D and I were already planning on going to Jamaica this December for our anniversary, but it looks like we’re going to be taking an extra trip. I’m actually excited to get to know these people. I’m not expecting us to be super-tight after this meeting, but I’m optimistic. It’d be nice for my future kids to be able to know their whole family. If nothing else, it’ll be an extra getaway for the year.