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.