Well I finally got to meet my long lost cousin - better known as West Coast Cousin (Cuz) - and her daughter, who has the same name as Kidlet. Cuz and I are the same age, were raised thousands of miles apart and had never met - before this weekend.
It's funny though ... the moment she walked through the door, I recognized her as family. I felt an instant ease and comfort with her, and after the inaugural hug and welcome she was initiated. Of course we had our customary famjam to give her the full effect and impact of the large family she is a part of. My dad shared stories of his visits with her parents (who have both passed), and acquainted her with some family history. The conversations were many, concurrent and impassioned (loud!). Our plates were full and the wine flowed as freely as the stories. The younger gen scooped up Kidlet2 in the craziness that is them at these gatherings and she took her place in their midst. She was officially part of the clan. I couldn't help thinking what an assault on the senses this must be for her. Kidet2 is an only child and for most of her life it has been her and her mom. I suspect bedlam and boisterous have not been the order of the day for her. She is a quiet but direct. She speaks her mind and gets her answers.
How is it that we can be raised worlds apart and still have that invisible thread that ties us together? Share a bond that is not rooted from years of acquaintance - but rather from the experiences of our parents and their relationships; the knowledge that we belong to something bigger than ourselves.
My heart is full and I feel like someone who kicked a stone only to find out it was a diamond -- for Cuz is surely that.