I was informed 5 days ago that one of my cousins had passed away. He was one of the 4 remaining 1st cousins on my Dad’s side. That leaves me and 2 other ones left out of over a hundred. My Dad’s side was huge, he had 11 brothers and sisters and most of them had at least 10 children themselves. I was very saddened, not only for Leonard passing but also for the lost opportunity of learning more about my Grandparents.
This scenario has hit pretty Close to Home for me. I am the only person left in my immediate family. My Dad died in 1974, my mother died in 1999 and my sister died in 2012. I had a brother who was 18 years older than I. When I was 6 months old, he graduated High School and joined the Air Force. I had only seen him about 7 or 8 times in my life. The last time I saw him was in 1982 when he came for a visit. While he was there something happened between my mother and him. He abruptly left after a few days because my mother had disowned him. We were told we would never see nor hear from him again. This kind of behavior was common for my mother. A few years later she did the same thing to me.
Almost 2 years ago I finally found my brother after looking for him for over 35 years. By chance, I looked at one of those people finder sites and for the first time his name came up with enough information that I could verify that this was him. My husband and I were leaving for California for a week so I figured after we got back, I would pay for the subscription so I could get his information. When we returned, I put in his information and up popped his obituary! He had passed away 3 days before we got back. I was devastated.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has occurred because of putting off contacting relatives. Over the last 5 years, too many have passed on. I also have only one cousin on my mothers’ side left. SO, with renewed determination, I am going to contact the cousins I have left and ask questions. I will just have to get over the idea that I am being a bother. Time is ticking on and I have to march to that rhythm.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.