Friday, November 10, 2006

The cousin connection

When I was 6 years old,my Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Barney came to visit us in Massachusetts from California. Uncle Barney was my Papa's brother. One day,he said to me,"My granddaughter Becky is your age. You should write to her." I thought that was a fun idea so I wrote the following informative note.

Dear Becky,
Hi.I am your cousin,Robin. Please write.

It must have been my great communication skills that won her over because we were pen-pals for 7 years.

When I turned 13 in 1976,my Nana and Papa took me out to California that summer.That was the first time that Becky and I met. We were instantly friends. My grandparents and I stayed with Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Barney for 11 days and then they went home. I bounced around from their house to Becky's house for the 10 days I was there without my grandparents. Becky and I had so much fun.

When I turned 15,Becky came east to stay with my family for 3 weeks in the summer. It was like we had never been separated. We fell into an easy relationship right away. I didn't want her to go home when her trip was over because being a pen-pal was very different from having her in my life every day.

We kept in touch over the years until we were in our early twenties. Then we just stopped writing and calling due to hectic schedules and life changes. Over the years,I have thought of her often and wondered what she was doing. Uncle Barney died in 1998 and he was my last connection to California. I didn't know how to even reach Becky and being lazy,I didn't try.

This past week,Becky emailed me. It was a total shock and a wonderful surprise. She found me on but when she realized I wasn't a gold member and couldn't open her email unless one of us paid $30,she decided to Google me.

Lo and behold,her Google search led her to DotMoms and she found my email address on my blog. Thank you,Internet! After a few email exchanges,we decided to schedule a time to talk. This morning,at 5:30am,her time,I called her and we chatted for 2 1/2 hours. She had to go out but promised to call me later today to finish catching up.

When I told my mom how long Becky and I talked for,she laughed and said,"You always liked Becky." I sure did. My whole family did. I guess I didn't realize how much I missed her until I heard from her. Thank goodness she is resourceful enough to find me.

The funny thing is,even though we had 20 years of catching up to do,it wasn't awkward talking to her. It was like I had spoken to her last week instead of 20 years ago. I guess when cousins are friends,the connection is never really broken!

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