I had the most amazing thing happen today! I had all but lost contact with my mom's side of the family since she died almost 4 years ago. Today, I get a card in the mail from Illinois - it was from one of my cousins - Jimmy Lee. It was the most wonderful surprise I could have received.
A little back ground:
My mom had 2 brothers and 1 sister. My Uncle Howard had two boys, Jimmy Lee and Doug; My Uncle Jim had 2 girls, Patty Jane and Dianne; My Aunt Jane had two Boys, Jerry and Steve and My mom had me and my brother Jim.
The Brothers stayed in Illinois, while my mom and her sister moved to Maryland.
I never really saw the Illinois family much - my brother and I were the youngest of the cousins.
My Uncle Howard and cousin Jimmy Lee lived with us for a while when I was a young girl, around 9 or 10.
Jimmy Lee is a Vietnam vet who had lots of problems upon his return. He has been through a lot, but worked really hard to turn his life around. Anyway, for whatever reason, nobody told him my mom passed away until over a year after the fact. He has been trying to reach me for years and finally tracked me down. The family out there had an old address, but when we moved here, I lost all my addresses - but hadn't had Jimmy Lee's...so I have not had any contact with him for over 10 years.
Fast forward - he tracks me down by finding a 2nd cousin on the internet and gets his Dad's address and phone number - my cousin Steve - who had my mailing address.
I got a Christmas card from Jimmy Lee today and spent over an hour talking to him on the phone - I feel like someone gave me an early present. We plan on keeping in touch and I want to go out and visit next year.