Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Facebook is a funny thing

It started out with me hating it. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to work the stupid thing. Then I found the games and became addicted to many of them. A bunch of the games went bye bye too after I got bored. But I still play Farmville, Island Paradise, Happy Island, Treasure mania and a few others. They are mindless and fun.
Somehow I have a ton of friends. Over 60 actually. Out of those only about 10 are family or friends I have met in real life. The rest are people I have met online over the years. People I have actually gotten to know online. People I pretty much talk to every day. In fact some of them I have talked to for almost 6 years.
Some though (about 4 or 6) are friends of friends who just needed to be able to expand their farms lol.


I have been cruising along with my happy little facebook world when I got a email on there from someone asking me if I was my dad and moms daughter. That he was my cousin.
A cousin I never knew existed.
So the first thing I do is call my grandmother to make sure this isn't some random weirdo. She lets me know that he is a real cousin. At that point I say to her how come I had no idea he existed. She explained but I didn't feel good about it.
See...she had been married to a man named Ralph. This was her first husband. My grandfather. They got divorced a long long time ago and I never met my grandfather or even talked to him before.
Ralph had a brother and this guy was that brother's son.
Confused yet?
Anyway he writes me a email, I friend him on facebook and we exchange real emails. He writes me telling me about his family. A family I didn't know existed. It was incredibly interesting.
Then he sends me a genealogy thing that has pictures of each family member. Wow! I was fascinated to see these people...... until..... until... I came to my grandfather Ralph.
See he died. I had no idea that he had died. At that point everything kind of stopped. You see all the things that could have been. You see the effort you should have made to get to know someone that you no longer have the chance to do. You feel bad even though you had never met him before. Even though he had never made the effort to meet you.... or even talk to you. You feel like you lost something.
I picked up the phone and called my grandma. I asked her why she didn't tell me that he had died. It got a little quiet and then she said she had no idea he had died. Wow...how awful I felt.
I wrote back to my cousin and said that I was surprised that Ralph had died. That I had no idea. He wrote back saying that Ralph's second wife had not wanted to let this family know and that it had always bothered him.
Why?? Why wouldn't someone let the children know. (yes my Dad and uncle Randy are adults but still they are his children)
So I wrote a letter to my step mom explaining about the cousin. Explaining about the email. Explaining about the death of my grandfather and how my dad didn't know. How my dad needed to know. I mean the man died in 2008!! WTF
The cousin sent me some pictures. He pretty much was the spitting image of my dad.

It is a strange feeling. A feeling of loss even though I never had it.

Meet my grandfather Ralph.....


  1. that's pretty neat (other than not being able to get to know him) that facebook has brought so many people together.

    Sorry about your loss.

  2. Sometimes it's a good thing how connected we can be. I am sorry for your loss, but I hope having the missing pieces to the puzzle is some comfort. Found you through The World Through My Eyes and what a great find! ;)

  3. I've always wondered if I had family that I didn't know of ... always fantasizing that somehow I was related to royalty or something like that ... just like everyone else does, I guess.

  4. Thats pretty interesting and I see what you mean when you say a feeling of loss even though you never had it. Like, how would life have been if he was in it...for all of you. But you and your family are exactly where you are supposed to be.

    I get it only because my last grandparent standing is one that I don't know. Go figure. She talks to my dad every now and then but never asks about us (her grandkids or great grandkids) or even know what we look like. But thats her choice...and mine.

    I hope you sort out all of your feelings soon because it IS pretty hard to take in. I am glad that you have been able to come in contact with other family members though :)