Last night we attended Rosh Hashanah dinner at my cousin Adam’s house. I just learned I had a cousin named Adam last year. He found me through Facebook. When I was first contacted by him, his name was not familiar to me. It turns out that our grandfathers were brothers. Then, there was a “falling out” during my father’s generation. Now, thankfully, we’ve reconnected and are moving forward enthusiastically.
It is strange to meet someone for the first time and have them show you a picture of your father and grandfather. At this point I knew he was legit. It is even stranger to hear stories about your family, long buried, and realize that you know far less about your past than you ever imagined. With the simple gesture of an email I have gained a “new” family. Adam, Beth, Ben and Phil; David, Peggy, Justin and Wes; Joan and Sy. We have yet to meet Adam and David’s sister, Judy, and her family. Joan is my father’s first cousin. A little overwhelming, but exciting and wondrous nonetheless.
Any nervousness or apprehension I had about meeting my new family immediately dissipated in a few seconds. Everyone was in good form. My son, Karr, enjoyed meeting his new cousins. As an only child I find it heartwarming that his circle of buddies has expanded exponentially. Although a few years older, they included him immediately and made him feel part of the group. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of brisket, turkey meat balls, sweet kugel, green beans, cole slaw, Jewish apple cake, chocolate chip cake, fresh fruit, and dark chocolate. The table overflowed with food, and the warm embrace of our new family was a comforting way to start the new year.
We look forward to many more good times with our “new” family, and wish them all a happy and healthy New Year. L’Shanah Tovah!