Yesterday, I started to blog about my mother's side of the family and how I lost contact with them for many years. In 2015, after I started to create a profile on Ancestry.com, I was contacted by someone who turned out to be a first cousin once removed on my mother's side. We friended each other on Facebook.
It turned out that her father, my first cousin, had wanted to contact me for years but he had never found me. We exchanged a few emails.
I never pursued the contact, though, as a lot of my time and energy was consumed in caregiving for my mother in law and related issues.
The day after Thanksgiving, my mother in law died and one of my spouse's cousins celerated his birthday. He was also a caregiver. He lived with his 106 year old mother.
Two weeks later, he was dead. Unexpectedly dead.
Around the time my mother in law started her final decline, I found out that a cousin's wife had brain cancer. She took chemo but it did not help. Her condition deteriorated rapidly. She passed away about 10 days ago.
All of this, and having a former co-worker diagnosed with cancer (plus other assorted bad news concerning some people I knew or knew of), made me think. Time gets away from all of us. I was so guilty of letting time pass. In being consumed with one part of family, I had totally neglected others. This had to stop.
Yesterday morning, there was suddenly a post from my first cousin once removed on Facebook. It was a video of the bookstore in her home town and a feature about it on the local TV station. The last I knew she was working there.
So I DM'd her, telling her we no longer had an independent bookstore where I live (sad but true) and asking if she still worked there (she wasn't in the video). Within seconds she responded.
I had a brief attack of the "shies" but I fought back. I had to do this.
I briefly explained why I had not been in touch. I held my breath. Her father should be close to 90 by now. If he was still alive, that is.
Had I waited too long?
The responding message came back.
"I know Mom and Dad would love to see you."
It wasn't too late.
Now I have to make it happen.