My grandfather (mom's dad) was a Hungarian immigrant who came over with his family in about 1890 or so. He was young, but we are not exactly sure how young. He had a bunch of older brothers and sisters, most of whom went to work immediately upon getting here - mostly as tailors and cigar makers - on the lower East Side in NYC. Their father was listed as a cigar maker on the census, but family rumor says that all he did was to study Torah. Their mother, Hannah, must have worked like a dog to support her family, and her husband. More kids were born after they got to NY.
Eventually everyone married and did pretty well for themselves and most moved to the suburbs...Brooklyn! My mom had a slew of first cousins that she grew up with and was close to, and when we were growing up we saw these cousins and their children frequently. Some of them I liked...some I didn't. Some had moved further out to the 'burbs - but we stayed in Brooklyn as did others.
Life goes on, people move, get married, we all lose track...until this week when one of the second cousins posts a YouTube video of my mom, uncle, aunt, grandma etc from 1934. It gets to me via my mom and BOOM!!! I email someone, who emails someone else, who contacts someone else and before you know it - 20 long lost cousins are in touch. Many live in CA, some in NC, two in MA, a few still in NYC (but none in Brooklyn anymore, except for the son of one) Some are my age, some used to babysit me and some are so young I never met them.
Eventually we'll all meet again. When I travel for work, I will try to meet up with one or two of these cousins. We're talking reunion, but that probably won't happen - too much effort and work.
But one of the funniest stories involves a family whistle. Does your family have a whistle? Mine always did - it's the way we find each other in stores, or on the street, or when we were playing outside and mom wanted us in. Our family's whistle was the opening bars of "He'll Come Along, the Man I Love" and when ever I hear that tune I charge around looking for a family member - I'm like a Pavlov dog. It turns out that one of the cousins has the SAME TUNE as his family whistle!!! He lives in Southern California and his brother in NC. If I was in one of those places and heard this whistle I'd be convinced that my Dad was playing a trick on me and had come back to haunt me in a silly way. I'd be running around looking for the whistler and probably would have assaulted them with "why is that your whistle" or some other inane question. Then I would have realized they were family, we'd fall on each other shoulders with tears and laughter and be joined forever. Okay, I go a bit far but you get the picture. A family whistle is a sacred tune and if shared, should only be by immediate family - not remote second cousins. But it was fun to figure this all out, involving early morning whistling and sending out emails with whistles attached.
You never know what the week is going to bring.
Be well, have a lovely Friday. Do a good deed if you can.