Thursday, March 6, 2008

A chance meeting; a new relationship

We awoke to some frozen slush and a little ice around my home. We live on the south side of Route 1 which only means we live on the south side of Route 1. As far as the weather is concerned, we live in the main section of the state that rains fall when the weather is predicted to be a wintry mix. We may see some sleet under those conditions, but we get a lot of rain in the winter.

It rained yesterday. When the temperatures fell during the night to below freezing, the rain turned to sleet and then slush. It then froze. So this morning we had some frozen slush, but the sun was blazing away and that frozen slush quickly became just wet. By 7:15 this morning I left for my bi-weekly visit to my physical therapy group. As I backed out of my garage, I wasn’t sure what I’d find on my driveway. From my window it had looked like some ice was there. There wasn’t. It was just wet. Once onto the treated city streets, all I faced was the morning commute traffic.

A few months ago, we found a long lost cousin of mine. Actually, she wasn’t lost at all, but I hadn’t seen this woman since 1953 or perhaps earlier. We were teenagers in high school then, but it was that year my parents moved to Florida. They left me behind to live with my grandmother to be able to graduate with my friends from the school system I had been in all my school life. For some reason I never associated with my cousin again.

Until a chance meeting that I suspect no one ever anticipated. I had a workman from a local business come to the house to fix something. He ended up being a few years older than I and I learned he had retired from this particular business but was helping out during a busy season. As he finished up, he looked at me, stared would be a better word. Finally he asked if a certain name was familiar to me. “Yes,” I answered, “he was my father. How do you know him?” He responded, “You look exactly like him.” (I know this isn’t correct form, but it’ll do for this post.) This guy was another cousin, but we’re far apart in ages that we really didn’t have contact with one another. Once he told me his name, I knew instantly who he was and a new connection was made.

We asked about members of each other’s family. He knew my brother had passed and, of course, my parents were also gone. So most of the conversation was about his family. His brother, older than all of us still around, lives just a few blocks from me. His sister, the one my age and the one my wife went to lunch with, he said worked part time at a local supermarket. Oh, My Goodness! That’s the same place M.G.D. works part time.

Did someone sometime say we live in a really small world?

M.D.G. looked at name tags on people at work. Because they’re both part time, their paths didn’t cross very often, but one day there she was, my cousin wearing her name tag. M.D.G. was tempted to speak to her, but didn’t. The next day we both went to the store and my cousin was working. I walked over to her and said simply, “Hi. I’m G.D.” A big hug cemented right there the renewal of a long lost relationship. She said her brother had mentioned his surprise meeting with me, but she had no idea who at the store was related to me.

Since then this one and her husband and I and my wife have become friends again. Except for that one encounter with her brother, the men side of her family and I haven’t yet renewed. She and I are within a year of each other, the others aren’t. One, in fact, the oldest, may not even remember our family.

So today, my wife and “favorite” cousin had lunch together. It’s not the first time. But I’m happy that the past and the present have become linked.


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