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Reconnecting with the newly rediscovered relative

August 17th, 2015 at 06:10 pm

I really enjoyed getting to know my 2nd cousin from Jersey when she came up for a brief visit after visiting my mom in the assisted living place.

Coming from such a small family, with just one sibling of my own who's never chosen to have a close relationship with me, and with both my parents not having any siblings, it feels very exciting to "rediscover" a long lost relative that I never really knew.

She's the granddaughter of one of my grandfather's 3 brothers. Ironically, she has fond memories of both my grandparents, which surprised me so much because I had no real relationship with my grandfather. He was a very distant figure who rarely if ever spoke to me and didn't seem to like children. I guess I know he loved me but he never really showed it other than to give me, my sister and my mother money.

It actually sounded like she might have had a better relationship with my grandfather than I did. Looking back, my grandfather never seemed happy in his marriage to my grandmother, but in those days, you didn't get a divorce. They stuck it out. I remember so many times my grumpy and short-tempered grandfather would come up from the basement, where he'd have been working all day on his woodworking, avoiding my grandmother, but he'd come up for dinner and be pretty cranky at the table. My grandmother would immediately shush him and say, "Not in front of the children." That was really all the conversation that took place between my grandparents.

My grandmother was so very different from my grandfather. For me, she epitomized the purest, truest love. She was always there for me, and I miss her dearly to this day.

Anyway, it sounds like my cousin is interested in us continuing to get to know each other. I think we both have a strong interest in hearing about each others' lives, past and present. There may be a trip down to Jersey involved.

But here's a bit of a dilemma. She picked out several small and 1 medium-sized pieces of my mother's art, which was fine. I'd offered it to her after she told me she loved my mother's work but couldn't afford to buy it.

Now, in her note to me today, she described one large framed piece and said she wanted to buy it, and hoped she could help me out in that way to raise $$ for my mother. The piece would probably normally sell for around $750 or $850. But I don't think I could charge her for it; I'm feeling kind of emotional, warm and fuzzy after our visit and the warm exchange of emails we've had. I personally like the piece myself but aside from that, am also feeling reluctant to give it to her becus of its potential to generate a decent amount of badly needed $$ for mom.

So I don't know.

4 Responses to “Reconnecting with the newly rediscovered relative”

  1. Butterscotch Says:

    Hi! I've always read your blog but I don't think I've ever commented. Anyway, tell your cousin that you are not ready to make a decisions yet regarding that piece of art. She sounds very nice and I am sure she will understand that rigt now you have a lot going on emotionally and it's reasonable for you to be taking things slowly regarding your mother's art. I bet she really just wants to help and that's why she offered to buy the biggest item available - so she could make the biggest difference financially, maybe?

    Maybe you could tell her that if the time comes where you feel like you want to sell that piece that she will be the first to know. That way you don't have to commit to anything or say no to her altogether. Good luck!

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    Butterscotch, I feel especially honored whenever someone says they read my blog a lot. Thank you. And thank you for what i think is a very good answer, not committing either way and allowing myself more time to think about it.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    You could tell her the price you're hoping to get, and say you understand if she doesn't want to pay that much but that you're trying to raise as much money as possible for your mom's care. Hopefully she'll understand.

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    I agree with Butterscotch, you don't have to immediately decide. Don't do anything you would regret. YOU are in control of the decision.

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