This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting another one of my newly found LIPA cousins. M.E. is my second cousin, and a finer second cousin I cannot imagine. She invited me to spend the day with her and her husband (who is a terrifically creative artist) on Saturday. We had the most delightful visit! I brought along a few documents of our family's history and she was quite pleased with what I had to share. She showed me various keepsakes owned by her grandmother (my dad's Auntie Josie) and a couple of our grand aunts. She even had a decorative bowl owned by our great grandmother! :-)
For lunch, M.E. made "Polish chop suey". Boy was that tasty! It was a family recipe that I will have to ask her for. Yum!
M.E. had not one, not two, but three photo albums of family photos that we went through in the afternoon. I identified several photos that I liked and she graciously offered to make scans of them for me :-D We talked of our parents and grandparents, our husbands and kids, our siblings, and in her case, her grandchildren. I hung on her every word so thirsty was I to hear about all those family members!
And I noticed something... when I looked into M.E.'s eyes, I saw my own looking back at me! I'm not kidding. Hers are the exact same shade of blue as mine. I know, I know, they say that everyone with blue eyes is related. But in this case our eyes are very telling about just how closely related we are!
I think we could have gone on talking all the rest of the day and well into the evening but I left at 4:30 pm. M.E. sent me home with several old photos (including the one above, taken just a year before Josephine became my father's Godmother) and a religious medal worn by her grandmother, my grand Aunt Josie. I was deeply touched by her kindness and generosity. I had an absolutely wonderful day with my "new" cousin and we're already talking about getting together again one day soon :-)
Later Saturday evening M.E. sent me scans of 22 holy cards from the funerals of family members. Am I lucky, or am I lucky? Is she terrific, or what???
Somehow, it all seemed so fitting to spend Saturday with M.E. You see, it was 34 years ago on Saturday that my dad died. My dad, Joseph, was named for is Godmother and aunt, Josephine. Josephine was M. E.'s grandmother. It's like the family circle was completed when we got together. I know my dad would have been delighted and was probably looking down on me smiling. He was very fond of his "Auntie Josie". He was also a strong believer in family ties.
So am I.