Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Do you know the way to San Jose?

I haven't been able to get that tune out of my head for several days now.

So, here's an interesting little family factoid about me. I have a whole side of my family that I've never met. At least, before tonight anyway. I had never met a single person from my dad's side of the family ever. Oh no wait, there are pictures of me with my paternal grandmother when I was an infant, but that's it. When my mother was alive, there was some kind of something that must have happened long ago....don't know what it was but all I know is that she strongly discouraged communication between my father and his 9 other siblings (and their offspring...of which there are many).
This bothered me a lot my whole life. My mother's side of the family was small...I had not even a handful of cousins and we barely saw them. I knew that somewhere out there was this huge family that I belonged to, but I didn't even know if they knew I existed or vice versa.
Most of my paternal cousins are a bit older than father is 8th in line of 10 kids and he is in his 70' he didn't even start having kids until he was in his 40's. So most of my cousins are easily in their 40's and 50's. But not long after my mom passed away, my father reconnected with his siblings and we are finally becoming a family again.
A few years ago, I started corresponding (via email) with one of my cousins and he is actually close to my age. His mother (my aunt) had her children later in life, as did my dad. She actually passed away before I ever met her, but my dad speaks fondly of her and tells me that she was a great woman who was very loved.
So, my cousin, Pierre, and I started to chat. We are so happy to be connected now. When he told me he would be San Jose, I knew I had to come out and meet him and his wife Nathalie. They live in Alma, the same town where my father was born, in Quebec. The reason they are out here is because Pierre has also recently reconnected with brothers and sisters from his father's previous marriage. Pierre didn't know, until recently, that he even had brothers and sisters and they didn't know either. Pierre has developed a particularly strong bond with Ted, his brother, and is here in San Jose to visit with him for a couple of weeks.
So after a long car ride with girls, I arrived in San Jose today and got to meet not only my cousin, but his wife and his brother. It was an emotional night for all.

To round up our day of travel: Everything went actually pretty well. We left the house at 6 am, hit horrific traffic in L.A. (as was expected), made one potty break, then had lunch in San Luis Obispo, at Big Sky Cafe. The food & service were really excellent. Lola fell asleep in the car soon after lunch and when we stopped in Salinas for a potty break, we noticed that her tooth fell out. We can't find it anywhere and she was rather upset by this. I calmed her down by telling her that all she has to do is draw a picture of the tooth and write a note to the tooth fairy that her tooth is lost and that will be good enough. But the she thinks she may have swallowed the tooth and, secretly, that is what she's really afraid of.

Some photos of our trip....the restaurant, the Salinas gas station potty when we discovered Lola's tooth was first missing, Pierre and his brother, me and Pierre.


Iris said...

How wonderful that you could connect with that side after all that time.

Sabrina said...

She lost her tooth! Yay! Glad you had a good time. Can't wait to hear all about it.