My Long Lost Cousin

This is not the post I had planned for you to read today.  I had a nice, light, and funny post planned.  When I can, I try to be a few days ahead in my writing so that if any particular day goes south on me, I have a few posts in reserve.  Sometimes, however, things happen and I feel an overwhelming need to get something out to you now.  Such is the case tonight, as I type frantically, trying to put my emotions into thoughts.  Wanting to finish this by midnight so I can publish it in time for my more distant readers.  Wanting you, The Internet, to give me feedback on an odd development in my life. 


I had just finished the post I expected you to be reading.  I really cracked myself up writing it, because even if no one else does, I always find myself amusing.  Yes, I sit here chuckling to myself sometimes as I write.  To be honest, sometimes I make myself laugh just with the thoughts I have.  In another era, I probably would have been locked up in a mental facility for finding myself so amusing. 


In any case, perhaps this is not destined to be my most amusing week.  This will not be my only non-comedic post this week.  I hope you’ll bear with me through what is bound to be a bit of an emotional week.   


I was about to turn off my laptop for the night when I clicked over to my private non-blogging email and saw a new message.  A new message from someone I once knew when I was a very young girl.  His name is Mark, and Mark is my cousin.


I do not come from a close, warm and fuzzy family.  That in itself, is a long story and not for today.  When I was very young, we did see our relatives at holidays quite frequently.  I knew Mark when I was a little girl.  Mark is many years older than me.  I don’t even know how many years older.  By the time I was maybe 5 or 6, Mark had left for college.  In the years prior to that, of course, he never wanted much to do with me or me with him.  We were at the same family events, but never really knew each other because of the age and gender difference. 


What I know about Mark is the following.  Mark is a “genius”.  A real one.  Mark went off to college at the height of the LSD/drug hippie era and never came back.  Not for forty years or so anyway.  Apparently he’s back now.  Mark got caught up in a famous cult/church type of organization during those years, and rose to be a VIP for them.  He married and had children.  He, for many years, lived abroad and had no contact with anyone in his family including his parents and sister.  I heard just a few years ago that he had finally disassociated himself from the cult/church/organization. 


My family, being disjointed as it is, only recently informed me that Mark has been back in contact with his immediate family and in fact, has been back in the U.S.A. for the last “couple years”.  Really?  I never see anyone from that side of the family.  Not because of any family blow-up or fallout, but simply because we have never been close.  I registered news of Mark’s return with surprise, but then set it aside.  I don’t know him.  At all.  


Now, tonight there is an email from Mark saying, “I know I am probably the last person you would expect to hear from ….” 


Yes, Mark, you are the last person I would expect to hear from.  No one from his side of the family even knows my email address so I have to assume he went to quite some trouble to get it.  He wrote that he has also contacted my sister and brother, both who live in other states. 


Mark lives in LA.  Mark works for a prominent company I am familiar with.  I don’t know Mark.  I don’t know Mark at all.  Mark’s work brings him to Orange County sometimes, and he is hoping … maybe, would I consider meeting him?    

51 Responses to “My Long Lost Cousin”

  1. alntv

    Boy…that’s a tough one. I’m going to say meet him for a quick lunch. The question is…will you have anything to talk about? Any family memebers you both know or keep in contact with? I dunno…sounds kind of uncomfortable to me. But he is family…

  2. alntv

    Boy…that’s a tough one. I’m going to say meet him for a quick lunch. The question is…will you have anything to talk about? Any family memebers you both know or keep in contact with? I dunno…sounds kind of uncomfortable to me. But he is family…

  3. alntv

    Boy…that’s a tough one. I’m going to say meet him for a quick lunch. The question is…will you have anything to talk about? Any family memebers you both know or keep in contact with? I dunno…sounds kind of uncomfortable to me. But he is family…

  4. Joanne

    Family can indeed get to you on a level no one else can.I am also from a detatched family. My sister (10 yrs younger) lives about 12 miles from me, and we dont even know each others phone number. We make obligatory visits when mom is down, etc.
    ANYWAY, I feel you have nothing to lose. as far as his “genius” status, that is the type of person who has the most trouble dealing with social issues and common sense. The fact that he was in a cult/sect should tell us he has social anxiety, or something similar. I think you should try to help him reconnect, slowly and cautiously, so that neither one of you gets freaked out.
    I have tried to reconnect with my family several times, so far it is “close ,but no cigar”. From time to time, I get hurt, but even death cannot remove “family” we are stuck with them.Forgivness goes a long way for both parties, too.Plus it makes the road a lot less bumpy

  5. Joanne

    Family can indeed get to you on a level no one else can.I am also from a detatched family. My sister (10 yrs younger) lives about 12 miles from me, and we dont even know each others phone number. We make obligatory visits when mom is down, etc.
    ANYWAY, I feel you have nothing to lose. as far as his “genius” status, that is the type of person who has the most trouble dealing with social issues and common sense. The fact that he was in a cult/sect should tell us he has social anxiety, or something similar. I think you should try to help him reconnect, slowly and cautiously, so that neither one of you gets freaked out.
    I have tried to reconnect with my family several times, so far it is “close ,but no cigar”. From time to time, I get hurt, but even death cannot remove “family” we are stuck with them.Forgivness goes a long way for both parties, too.Plus it makes the road a lot less bumpy

  6. Joanne

    Family can indeed get to you on a level no one else can.I am also from a detatched family. My sister (10 yrs younger) lives about 12 miles from me, and we dont even know each others phone number. We make obligatory visits when mom is down, etc.
    ANYWAY, I feel you have nothing to lose. as far as his “genius” status, that is the type of person who has the most trouble dealing with social issues and common sense. The fact that he was in a cult/sect should tell us he has social anxiety, or something similar. I think you should try to help him reconnect, slowly and cautiously, so that neither one of you gets freaked out.
    I have tried to reconnect with my family several times, so far it is “close ,but no cigar”. From time to time, I get hurt, but even death cannot remove “family” we are stuck with them.Forgivness goes a long way for both parties, too.Plus it makes the road a lot less bumpy

  7. Judi

    I also think you should give it a shot, but keep some control over the circumstances. Lunch, public place, maybe convince Briefcase to come along. Try to suss out his motivation and current state of mind.
    A friend of mine contacted me out of the blue one day (we hadn’t seen each other in years), and we met up for lunch. Turns out she was an alcoholic, finally getting help, and needed to apologize to me as part of her process. I hadn’t even realized she was an alcoholic, or that she had wronged me in anyway. I forgave her, listened to her, supported her choice to get well.
    Maybe he’s got something on his conscience that somehow relates to your family and needs some type of closure through talking to you.

  8. Judi

    I also think you should give it a shot, but keep some control over the circumstances. Lunch, public place, maybe convince Briefcase to come along. Try to suss out his motivation and current state of mind.
    A friend of mine contacted me out of the blue one day (we hadn’t seen each other in years), and we met up for lunch. Turns out she was an alcoholic, finally getting help, and needed to apologize to me as part of her process. I hadn’t even realized she was an alcoholic, or that she had wronged me in anyway. I forgave her, listened to her, supported her choice to get well.
    Maybe he’s got something on his conscience that somehow relates to your family and needs some type of closure through talking to you.

  9. Judi

    I also think you should give it a shot, but keep some control over the circumstances. Lunch, public place, maybe convince Briefcase to come along. Try to suss out his motivation and current state of mind.
    A friend of mine contacted me out of the blue one day (we hadn’t seen each other in years), and we met up for lunch. Turns out she was an alcoholic, finally getting help, and needed to apologize to me as part of her process. I hadn’t even realized she was an alcoholic, or that she had wronged me in anyway. I forgave her, listened to her, supported her choice to get well.
    Maybe he’s got something on his conscience that somehow relates to your family and needs some type of closure through talking to you.

  10. Midlife Slices

    I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to meet with him. Family is family. Maybe he just wants to make amends for the years of absence (cult following) and make things right. Age has a way of making us have different priorities and we have a tendency to want to connect with our past. Go for it.

  11. Midlife Slices

    I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to meet with him. Family is family. Maybe he just wants to make amends for the years of absence (cult following) and make things right. Age has a way of making us have different priorities and we have a tendency to want to connect with our past. Go for it.

  12. Midlife Slices

    I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to meet with him. Family is family. Maybe he just wants to make amends for the years of absence (cult following) and make things right. Age has a way of making us have different priorities and we have a tendency to want to connect with our past. Go for it.

  13. Bev

    Sheesh! Talk about coming from out of left field. It is no wonder you wonder what is up. If it were me in your shoes and I was inclined to meet him (out of curiosity of which I have a lot), I would make sure Briefcase was there too and I would do it in a public place. So, what are you going to do or have you decided?
    Keep us posted and I hope you have a good week.

  14. Bev

    Sheesh! Talk about coming from out of left field. It is no wonder you wonder what is up. If it were me in your shoes and I was inclined to meet him (out of curiosity of which I have a lot), I would make sure Briefcase was there too and I would do it in a public place. So, what are you going to do or have you decided?
    Keep us posted and I hope you have a good week.

  15. Bev

    Sheesh! Talk about coming from out of left field. It is no wonder you wonder what is up. If it were me in your shoes and I was inclined to meet him (out of curiosity of which I have a lot), I would make sure Briefcase was there too and I would do it in a public place. So, what are you going to do or have you decided?
    Keep us posted and I hope you have a good week.

  16. Renee

    OMG, I love to read your blog, I
    laugh at all your shenanigans, I think you should go and meet him. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say.

  17. Renee

    OMG, I love to read your blog, I
    laugh at all your shenanigans, I think you should go and meet him. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say.

  18. Renee

    OMG, I love to read your blog, I
    laugh at all your shenanigans, I think you should go and meet him. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say.

  19. EricaB

    I think I agree with most everyone else. I think you should meet him for a “quick lunch”. Tell him you have an appointment afterwards so you don’t have to worry about it lingering too long. Be sure Briefcase knows where you are and be sure that you are in a public place.
    Maybe he truly has had a change of heart and wants to become the family he never had…

  20. EricaB

    I think I agree with most everyone else. I think you should meet him for a “quick lunch”. Tell him you have an appointment afterwards so you don’t have to worry about it lingering too long. Be sure Briefcase knows where you are and be sure that you are in a public place.
    Maybe he truly has had a change of heart and wants to become the family he never had…

  21. EricaB

    I think I agree with most everyone else. I think you should meet him for a “quick lunch”. Tell him you have an appointment afterwards so you don’t have to worry about it lingering too long. Be sure Briefcase knows where you are and be sure that you are in a public place.
    Maybe he truly has had a change of heart and wants to become the family he never had…

  22. Miss Britt

    I feel like I’m missing something here. Is there some reason you haven’t listed for why you guys haven’t stayed in touch?
    If it’s just a “grown apart” thing, I don’t see the harm in meeting up with him.

  23. Miss Britt

    I feel like I’m missing something here. Is there some reason you haven’t listed for why you guys haven’t stayed in touch?
    If it’s just a “grown apart” thing, I don’t see the harm in meeting up with him.

  24. Miss Britt

    I feel like I’m missing something here. Is there some reason you haven’t listed for why you guys haven’t stayed in touch?
    If it’s just a “grown apart” thing, I don’t see the harm in meeting up with him.

  25. Tricia

    I’d have to meet him. My curiosity would kill me, and the fact that he’s reaching out to family members has to mean he’s in search of something, eve in that something is simply an extended family. What ever it is that he’s hoping to find, I hope it’s good and honorable … yup, my sense of curiosity would propel me.

  26. Tricia

    I’d have to meet him. My curiosity would kill me, and the fact that he’s reaching out to family members has to mean he’s in search of something, eve in that something is simply an extended family. What ever it is that he’s hoping to find, I hope it’s good and honorable … yup, my sense of curiosity would propel me.

  27. Tricia

    I’d have to meet him. My curiosity would kill me, and the fact that he’s reaching out to family members has to mean he’s in search of something, eve in that something is simply an extended family. What ever it is that he’s hoping to find, I hope it’s good and honorable … yup, my sense of curiosity would propel me.

  28. Rianne

    Is there anyone else you know who has had contact and could tell you what mind set he’s in?

  29. Rianne

    Is there anyone else you know who has had contact and could tell you what mind set he’s in?

  30. Rianne

    Is there anyone else you know who has had contact and could tell you what mind set he’s in?

  31. nathaliewithanh

    If he offers, don’t drink the kool-Aid and if he starts jumping on couches, go to the bathroom and escape through the back door.

  32. nathaliewithanh

    If he offers, don’t drink the kool-Aid and if he starts jumping on couches, go to the bathroom and escape through the back door.

  33. nathaliewithanh

    If he offers, don’t drink the kool-Aid and if he starts jumping on couches, go to the bathroom and escape through the back door.

  34. nathaliewithanh

    If he offers, don’t drink the kool-Aid and if he starts jumping on couches, go to the bathroom and escape through the back door.

  35. nathaliewithanh

    If he offers, don’t drink the kool-Aid and if he starts jumping on couches, go to the bathroom and escape through the back door.

  36. nathaliewithanh

    If he offers, don’t drink the kool-Aid and if he starts jumping on couches, go to the bathroom and escape through the back door.

  37. nathaliewithanh

    If he offers, don’t drink the kool-Aid and if he starts jumping on couches, go to the bathroom and escape through the back door.

  38. nathaliewithanh

    If he offers, don’t drink the kool-Aid and if he starts jumping on couches, go to the bathroom and escape through the back door.

  39. nathaliewithanh

    If he offers, don’t drink the kool-Aid and if he starts jumping on couches, go to the bathroom and escape through the back door.

  40. nathaliewithanh

    If he offers, don’t drink the kool-Aid and if he starts jumping on couches, go to the bathroom and escape through the back door.

  41. nathaliewithanh

    If he offers, don’t drink the kool-Aid and if he starts jumping on couches, go to the bathroom and escape through the back door.

  42. nathaliewithanh

    If he offers, don’t drink the kool-Aid and if he starts jumping on couches, go to the bathroom and escape through the back door.

  43. Ry

    I can totally relate to you on the family thing. Our extended family doesn’t really do the whole get together thing anymore, we learned our lesson.
    However, we still contact eachother on holidays and what not, but I also happen to have an estranged uncle and some cousins I’ve never met. So I thought about how I would react if they suddenly got in contact with me.
    I think I’d meet them. Probably for a quick lunch. Awkward is pretty guaranteed I imagine but I’d sure be curious.
    Good luck! This can’t be easy!

  44. Ry

    I can totally relate to you on the family thing. Our extended family doesn’t really do the whole get together thing anymore, we learned our lesson.
    However, we still contact eachother on holidays and what not, but I also happen to have an estranged uncle and some cousins I’ve never met. So I thought about how I would react if they suddenly got in contact with me.
    I think I’d meet them. Probably for a quick lunch. Awkward is pretty guaranteed I imagine but I’d sure be curious.
    Good luck! This can’t be easy!

  45. Ry

    I can totally relate to you on the family thing. Our extended family doesn’t really do the whole get together thing anymore, we learned our lesson.
    However, we still contact eachother on holidays and what not, but I also happen to have an estranged uncle and some cousins I’ve never met. So I thought about how I would react if they suddenly got in contact with me.
    I think I’d meet them. Probably for a quick lunch. Awkward is pretty guaranteed I imagine but I’d sure be curious.
    Good luck! This can’t be easy!

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