Monday, August 22, 2016
It was only one week ago when I was telling about my Polish cousin—the one I met online, seemingly by accident, over ten years ago—and how, after sharing so much about our mutual Gramlewicz ancestors, she seemed to vanish just as suddenly as she had appeared in the first place.
I had tried many times to reconnect with this cousin, but it seemed it was just not to be. Though I missed our exchange of emails over the years, by 2013, I had succumbed to the thought of never hearing from her again.
While ours was never more than a "virtual" friendship, I did miss the connection. Sometimes, more than others—for instance, when our daughter was accepted to study in Ireland in the Fall of her senior year, and my husband and I were able to travel to visit her during her time there. In preparing for that trip, I discovered that Ireland has a sizeable Polish population, owing to their place in the European Union. How I wished that my Polish cousin and I could have rendezvoused during that visit to Ireland. But I got no replies to my emailed attempts to connect.
Sometimes, it pays to try once more, even though the last time—and the time before that—ended in failure. Last week, after writing my post on my Polish cousin, I figured, what do I have to lose? I sent her another email.
The next morning, I awoke to a wonderful surprise: a response from Poland! I certainly hadn't expected anything, and was just going through my morning routine in checking email.
The note was short—with the nine hour time difference between us, she had just gotten to work when she found my email—but it's the connection that counts. Of course, there will be years of news to catch up on. Much has happened in the lives of family on both sides of the ocean separating us. And perhaps we will be able to work on figuring out the puzzle of our mutual roots, once again.
Hopefully, the new discoveries I'll be sharing this week will help in moving that search ahead in a significant way.
Above: "The Letter," 1896 oil on canvas mounted on cardboard by Polish painter, Władysław Czachórski; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.