In two months 15 "relative strangers" with shared memories will gather in a hotel outside Philadelphia. An enigma? The key is the word "relative." It's actually a double entendre, or sort of pun. For, as a matter of fact, we 15 strangers are relatives. We're cousins, and all have the same grandparents. Our dads were brothers, growing up in a lively family in the 20s and 30s. All but one have left this earth, leaving us a wonderful heritage, and we will celebrate that heritage when we gather.
We knew each other as cousins do as children--the occasional family summer visit (we lived in various parts of the country) or Christmas gatherings around our Grandmother's table. A few of us have gotten re-acquainted through e-mail and sharing in the declining health of our parents and funerals. But for some of us it's been 40 years since we've met.
As we make plans--gathering photos, digging into family history, arranging tours, and updating the family tree, we wish our dads were here to enjoy this time. How they would! We guess they know what we are up to. We hope we get the story right. I'm sure they will share a few smiles as they watch us try!