Monday, November 29, 2010

My People

Beautiful Chicago....such gorgeous architecture

Meeting your family when you are nearing 50 is a very odd thing.  Families are very complex, and sitting down and going over the Who What and Why was exhausting.  Filling in the blanks at this point is an impossible task, but one that I find cathartic.  I need to know.  I needed to connect, to fill the gaps, the voids they left with me.  I am not sure if all of them would be a good fit for me.  Maybe in time.  For now, I am enjoying the family members closest to my age, my cousins. I couldn't have asked for more interesting and wonderful people.  We exhausted ourselves with fun and laughter.
The tears came earlier when I first met my cousin D.  Oh, how I wish we had grown up together.  I think she would have had a big impact on me.  But I am so grateful that she is here now.

We stayed in their apartment right downtown Chicago, with a view of the entire city. We enjoyed blues bars, Mexican restaurants, Bloomingdales and the beautiful attractions of Chicago which is clean and safe.  We had a drive by of Obama's house, now with the road blocked off by Secret Service.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast. 
We sat for hours.  There was so much to ask, to question, to get to know.
Every night I went to bed completely exhausted.
It was so worthwhile. 

And the best part of the scenic attractions was seeing the Frank Lloyd Wright homes in Oak Park.  You can't miss seeing them if you go to Chicago. 
The past 10 days have been a roller coaster.  Joy and Happiness with our son's engagement party, great sadness over losing Gracie Girl, then excitement and love with our new family.
That's life.  You suck up the good which sustains you when the ride is rocky.

A couple of people have emailed with similar family stories.  I was once told that I had no right to contact my fathers family, as his wishes were never to have anything to do with them.
I questioned a historian about this once and he told me that you have an absolute right to know who your family were. 

I would say to people questioning if they should, that they absolutely should proceed.  Be cautious, start slow, know that there are no guarantees.  Be prepared that they are not prepared or not what you imagined or wanted.  But I truly feel you can gain more than you can lose.

Thank you Steve for placing that little "missing person" ad.

Knowing my people has been a wonderful adventure.


  1. Wow Chania...what a story! With many more discoveries to come I am sure. You are a lucky woman.

  2. I get tears in my eyes every time you post about this :)
    I am so happy for you and for your family and I , for one, think this is totally a Good Thing. Of course, when your father was alive, you honored his wish to have nothing to do with them, but he is gone and it is not your wish.. It is impossible to live your own life, according to other peoples wishes.. you honored your Dad while he was alive and now you can be happy finding more family.
    It certainly has been a roller coaster, the happy then the sad and now this.
    I have to tell you this, although I am sure everyone is saying the same thing... you look like Deb .. you definitely look like you are related .. how great is that !? :)
    I like old houses with character ... I want a Frank Lloyd Wright House :) I will settle for a Look-alike .
    I would also like to live closer to a Bloomingdales than a continent away .. just think, I used to be a 5 minute walk away from the Bloomingdales in NYC.
    besos !!

  3. How wonderful to read. I was thinking about you and your journey. Love to you, brave girl!

    happy day!

  4. Hi Chania! What a lovely post... Got me all teary eyed! I am so happy for you.

    Health and happiness to ALL of YOU!

  5. Sounds like quite the whirlwind weekend - your story gives me goosebumps! I'm so thrilled for you that you've found your family. I can't imagine it's been an easy journey but having it work out so beautifully makes it all so worthwhile. And...who wouldn't want a cousin who lives in a castle?? ; )

  6. Wow, that castle is amazing!! I'd die to have a reunion there.


  7. Chania, I couldn't be happier for you. How exciting to be hooked back up with your family. I knew you would enjoy Chicago. My favorite are the brownstones in the downtown area...LOVE them!
    Seriously, Betsy Johnson?????

    P.S. I do hope you will pop over for a visit:)

  8. I am just so, so truly happy for you lovely Chania. Hope you will post lots if pics at your next reunion in that castle...WOW!!! ~ Txx

  9. Chania, how wonderful that you have found them and to spend US Thanksgiving with them. You are absolutely right about the "ups" sustaining us through the "downs". Life is short. Glad you are making the most of yours. Ann

  10. Am I missing something about the "Betsy Johnson"

    I am glad it turned out OK and that you have great cousins! Enjoy!

    The architecture is just WOW. Do you have more pictures? I love the old buildings...Love YOU Chania and am pleased it turned out good.

  11. I am touched by this wonderful story of you connecting with your people.

  12. There is not much more that I could say other than I am so very happy for you. Very very very. Looking forward to more stories. What will be nice is when you reach the point when the tales are new ones that you have created with them, looking forward.

    On a lighter note. Pizzeria UNO! Our favorite. Used to be one here many years ago and the kids and I went all the time...



  13. What a great post! Aren't you the lucky one to find family and be GLAD about it! :D I definitely get the Betsy Johnson thing. I LOVE Chicago. I had to chuckle because you described it just as I always do ........clean and safe. Oh yeah, and the shopping, architecture, food is good too! So happy you got to experience it in such amazing digs! Can't wait to see inside that castle!

  14. Chania, you all do favor...I really enjoyed this post, I'm happy for you.

  15. It sounds like you and your people had a wonderful time getting to know each other :-) And how cool will it be to have your next reunion in a castle!

    Love the Frank Lloyd Wright homes, and the picture above the Bloomingdales's sign - what great detail!


  16. Oh Chania, I'm so pleased everything went so well for you!

  17. An amazing story Chania. Good for you for going for it. You never know what you're going to get unless you take the chance.
    There's always so much to learn.

  18. I've just caught up on your tumultuous week.

    I am so glad the reunion with your people was positive - I can very much relate to your emotions, as my father did a similar thing with his family in Italy and my Mum with her family in Tahiti. (they couldn't get more further away than Brisbane!).

    When I finally met my people in my 20s, I think it was then I understood who I was. It was one of the best things I ever did. xx


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania