Thanksgiving is definitely one of the times we make every effort to celebrate our blessings with as much family as possible. This year we traveled to CT to share the day with two of my first cousins and their families. One of our sons was also able to make it too. When I was a kid, these were the cousins I shared all the holidays with. We lived in the same town, and our celebrations included their parents, and when I was really young, my grandmother. Sometimes my cousins from West Virginia would be able to join us, and for a few years, at least we had 3 generations gathered. The tables were full -- 20-25 people. Our parents are all gone now, but there are still 3 generations --- we're just the oldest now instead of the youngest.
In addition to enriching existing connections, I had the great blessing of creating new connections! My father's brother (both now deceased) lived in Brazil where he married and had 3 sons. I met one of my cousins briefly when I was in college, but never met any of the other family. Through the magic of the internet, specifically Facebook, I connected with my Brazilian relatives. One of them, the son of my first cousin, (1st cousin once removed, to be technical), was in the northeast on business. After a flurry of FB messages, we found a place and time where we could meet! So on Saturday, we traveled about an hour away to meet and have lunch with him. We had a lovely afternoon, and both of us managed to fill in gaps on our family trees. We're continuing our conversations and we're hoping to go to Brazil to meet the rest of the family sometime next year!