A wonderful, marvelous thing happened today: a second cousin from my father’s side found me on Facebook and reached out to me. I’ve been very estranged from my father’s family for years, and I only knew my grandparents and an uncle. One aunt passed before I was born, and the other aunt disowned everyone when I was an infant, so that side of the family has always been very small to me and very detached. So much so, that even though I was the only grandchild, I was never informed of my grandparents’ passing. I learned of their deaths years later when I Googled myself to make sure nothing questionable came up when I was looking for my mortuary internship. My full name appeared in both obituaries, and it was a very unnerving, upsetting discovery. But hey, we’re a family that redefines estrangement, so what could I do? It’s just how things go.
So it was thrilling to hear from a family member, my father’s cousin, the daughter of his namesake (which surprised me because I didn’t realize my grandfather had another brother, much less one he’d named his first born son after!). She’d found me because she’d just learned of my father’s death, and she saw my name in his obituary. She verified my parents’ names and family connections, and sure enough, we’re second cousins. Neat!
This is where it gets weird. Because of course it does.
Now, I didn’t attend his funeral for a whole plethora of reasons, and one of the bottom tier reasons was because I was certain that outside of my stepmother, stepsister, and uncle, no one else even knew I existed until the obit was published. My presence would have raised all kinds of questions and curiosity that I just wasn’t fit to deal with mentally, emotionally, or physically (still having medical drama thanks to the major abdominal surgeries I had within the last year!). It’s a silly thing to think, right? My parents were married for 12 years, and I am his only offspring. How could people not know I existed?
My great-aunt remembers my mother. It’s been a few decades since the extended family had heard from my father, but she remembered my mother. However, my cousin was surprised to find me.
Evidently, my father told her family that he had two sons.
He didn’t. He just had me. His daughter.
Personally, I find this hilarious. It’s so typical, I’m not in the least bit surprised. My second cousin and her mother are likely more shocked than I am. All this time, they thought he and my mom had two boys. Then they see the obit and have quite the WTF moment, which I had to confirm.
Nope, no boys, at least none that I know of. Just me. Surprise!
Now had I been a boy, my name would have been Gunnar Thorr. So I’ve given those names to my fictitious brothers. My family just got a little bit bigger! So welcome my brothers Gunnar and Thorr! We’re quite the rambunctious trio, we are. Hehehe!
Just when I think my life can’t get any weirder, am I right?
So I’m just cackling like a buffoon, delighted in how very grandly my family got Loki’d. No handsome young men to keep the family name alive, just a crazy cat lady who can’t have children. But hey, at least I know I have extended family now, which is a pretty amazing, awesome thing. On some level I knew there had to be others out there, but it was more a theory than anything. I’m very glad that I got to connect with a part of the family that I didn’t know existed, even though they didn’t know I existed, either.
I’m sure they’re going to have quite the family discussion around the dinner table as they gather for Thanksgiving. As for me? I’ll trade Gunnar and Thorr my turkey for their duck fat pop overs and ham.
Nobody can out-weird my family. Like I said in an earlier entry, Loki isn’t the God my family wanted, but he’s definitely the god we got!