I've raved about how this blog has helped me make new friends.
And I've mentioned how thankful I am to Facebook for helping me reunite with old friends and family members whom I hadn't seen in years.
But there's one family reunion that I still hope will happen someday.
My grandparents, who raised me, loved me more than anybody possibly could, but I always felt like something was missing. I wanted to be like most of my friends who had both their parents in their lives along with grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. I had plenty of family on my mom and Gramm's side, but none on my dad's.
I always wondered what they were like and if they ever thought of me.
So when we finally got internet service, one of the first things I typed into the Google search box was my dad's name.
Google came up with thousands of results, but none were what I was looking for. Not one to be easily discouraged, I vowed to keep searching.
Two or three times a year, I would conduct the same search, always with the same result.
In June of last year, just before my dad's birthday, I decided to try to search for my dad on Facebook. 500 million people in the world use Facebook and I hoped that maybe my dad was one of them.
But I didn't find him.
What I did find was a gentleman with the same name, whom I was sure was my paternal grandfather. I sent him a friend request and included a short message about who I was and asking him if he was the person I was searching for.
He never responded.
So, I turned to Google.
Again, I found my grandfather. Sadly, it was his obituary. He succumbed to cancer in May of 2010.
I was devastated on so many levels.
I hated that I had to learn through Google of his passing. I mourned for the man I had only met on a couple of occasions. And my heart ached because I had never been given the chance to get to know my grandfather and be a part of his life.
The obituary mentioned the names of his survivors: his wife, children and grandchildren. All but one. My name was nowhere to be found. I didn't expect it to be, but a part of me hoped that they remembered me. The obituary linked to a memorial page that included a slide show of old family photographs, including this one of me and my grandfather.
Again, I cried. I didn't have any pictures of my grandparents and only a handful of photographs of my dad. To be staring at a picture of me and my grandfather on my computer screen was so surreal. Suddenly, I was filled with hope that maybe they did remember me.
I signed the memorial page guest book and included all of my contact information. And then I waited. I waited for days, weeks and months for a response that never came.
Not content to just sit on the sidelines waiting for an answer, I turned yet again to Facebook. Only this time, I was armed with the list of names from Grandpa's obituary. I sent friend requests and messages to my dad's sister, my grandmother and one of my cousins.
I hoped and prayed that I would finally be reunited with my family.
Everyday, I watch how Hubby's family interacts with eachother: the laughter, the happiness, the love. I am blessed to have married into such an amazing family. I wish I had the same thing with my family.
Months have passed and still no word from anyone. And it hurts. They probably don't want anything to do with me. That's why I haven't heard from them. But then there's that optimistic, Pollyanna part of me that thinks that maybe they haven't read the messages or seen the friend requests. I know I've overlooked a couple.
It's that same optimistic part of me, that paid a couple of bucks to one of those online people searches for my dad's email address. I know. I know. Not one of my best ideas, but I had to try.
I sent a short message, to what I believed to be my dad's email address. In the email, I asked that whoever received the email to let me know if they were or weren't the person I was looking for.
Again. No response.
Atleast not at first. I've received a number of emails from that email address. Just not the response I hoped for. All I get is a bunch of links to junk like insurance and medicine.
A cruel and frustrating blow.
That's when I finally realized I should just give up. I've done all I can do. If they don't want anything to do with me, then it's their loss.
But wait. You didn't really think that I was going to give up that easily, did you?
While the emails I get from my dad's supposed email address are filled with useless spam links, I noticed something at the top of each message. They aren't only addressed to me. Each one is addressed to my aunt and a number of relatives.
WHAT THE HECK???!!!
I thought about it for awhile and decided to give it one more try. So, earlier this week, I sent a message to my aunt's email address.
I haven't heard from her. Probably never will. And that's okay.
I will always wonder about them. Wonder if they ever think of me.
I've really done all that I can. Now it's up to them.
I do feel kind of bad for them because they will never get to know what a wonderful person I turned out to be.