Monday, April 11, 2011

A Facebook Family Reunion

I'd be the first to admit the social network phenomenon, Facebook, can drain away a day's productive work time and entice the user into the obsessive nature of posting and checking status updates.  I have also realized there can be positive aspects of Facebook. 

Growing up in an military family, I've made and lost many friends over the years.  Facebook has allowed me to find these friends and reconnect.  I've been able to reconnect my mom with some of her long lost friends by finding their children on Facebook.  Occasionally, I find an acquaintance who is in a similar life situation (homeschool mom, Christian, etc.) and we develop a friendship based on our common interests.  It also allows me to quickly update family and friends in a concise manner.  I know it's not as personal as a phone call, but sadly, some days all I have is a couple minutes.

All of this leads to the latest of my Facebook great moments.  A story.

Long, long ago in a land far, far away lived a dysfunctional American family.  In this family were a group of young cousins.  These young cousins gathered at their grandparents' house and played.  They made a couple memories together.  Suddenly, one day they were gone.  Never to be seen again. 

Over 40 years passed.  There names had been changed.  The memories faded.  Life continued on, but for one girl the memory of these lost cousins would not fade away. 

As a young girl, growing up she would lay in bed awake praying for every member of her family by name, wondering where they might be, hoping they would one day meet again.  As she got older, sadly her hope began to fade.  She quit praying for the miracle that they would one day be part of her life.  She quit praying for them by name.  She got on with life just like everyone else.  Time passed.  She thought of them maybe a couple times a year, but there were no faces to the names, no hope of finding them.  Just an empty void.

Facebook enters the scene.  The girl begins to think about family and friends lost over the years and these cousins come to mind.  She wondered if they'd be on Facebook.  But how would she find people with different last name than their given name?  Think, think, think.  At one time she knew their new last name.  Like a gift from God, she remembered.  That night, about eight months ago, she took a chance.  What did she have to lose?  She had already lost these precious family members.  Completing a name search on Facebook she found all three of her long lost cousins.  She looked at their photos.  They looked familiar. They have a family resemblance.  She sent them messages letting them know they were her long losts. 

Two of the three responded.  First reactions: shock, surprise, anger.  Defenses were up.  They had a new life.  What did they need from this girl they knew nothing about?  She brought back bad memories for them.  Time doesn't heal all wounds, but maybe these cousins could have a friendship restored.  There were no promises other than to be a "Facebook Friend."  That was good enough for the girl.  She had found them. 

The months passed and they messaged her they'd like to meet.  Joy.  The meeting was planned.  What would happen?  Would they like her?  She wasn't worried.  She knew the situation was in God's hands.  He was the architect of this gathering.  He would bridge the lost years and rebuild the relationship.

They met at Disneyland.  Perfect.  Safe.  There would be entertainment if the conversation dragged.  It didn't.  The air was filled with stories, lost history, and current events.  Slowly the defenses were let down and the laughter took over. 

They spent three days together.  The cousins and kids got to know each other.  Another brother came to join the reunion.  Laughter erupted all evening. 

Prayers were answered.  These three cousins have been reunited.  They will not be separated.  One cousin commented on the 40 years lost, "What a waste."  Yes.  Time lost without family is very sad, but time will no longer be lost or wasted.

I thank God that He restores relationships.  I am blessed to have these two men and their families in my life.

Day 1- I'm not sure he's too sure about this whole thing

Cousin, his wife, and me

Cousin Littles

The Long Lost Family

Sweet times

Great People!

Capt. Humorous


The kids with Capt. Humorous

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