A Leap of Faith

In the isolation of lockdown, I thought a lot about two cousins I’d loved when I was a little girl but now didn’t even know. I was six, maybe seven, when a since-deceased relative who thrived on grievance cut off our connection to their family. Covid reminded me in the starkest way that the people in our lives are our lives, and I realized that throughout my adult years, I’d mirrored that relative’s actions: I’d stayed away.

Taking a leap of faith, I decided to look for those cousins and try to reconnect. I knew they might not be interested, but I also knew that if I waited for guaranteed success, I’d be perpetuating a separation caused decades earlier by someone else’s outrage.

Locating them was easy. They were both on Facebook, and I sent them friend requests. For good measure, I also sent one to their sister, who hadn’t yet been born when her brothers and I were playmates. They all clicked yes, and their sister went further. “I think I know who you are,” she messaged me. “You’re from the Lafayette family, right?”

Today we’re constantly texting, calling and FaceTiming. We grieved together at a family funeral, and on that sad Zoom they introduced me to others on their branch of the family tree. Some of us have met in person, in three different states. Travel plans are afoot for more of us to connect.

Reaching out to these cousins, I struck gold. Reaching out to another long-lost relative, I struck out. At least for now. The door is open, and maybe they’ll walk through it. If not, I’ll send another gentle hello at some point and respect whatever comes back, even silence. At least I’m now a person who tries.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Our past doesn’t define our future

Scroll to Top