Prove Those Naysayers Wrong!
Posted by laurenrantnrave
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I don’t have many cousins, so the ones I have are on cloud nine with the creative attempts I make to ensure that we stay in touch.
My maternal side of the family has three cousins and we always had a lot of fun together during our winter and summer visits, despite their living on the Canadian border and I in the northern suburbs of Chicago.
One summer, my grandpa had dropped off our cousins at their other grandparents house. Alas, the end of our visit would inevitably occur. Grandpa would always take us to Hamburger Hollow on the way back and buy us an ice cream cone. After one visit, my brother and I were so sad about losing our playmates, that we turned the ice cream down. Grandpa was dazed.
Another sweet memory was when Steve, the middle cousin, was visiting my grandparents alone. My brother collected beer cans and my grandpa had a huge collection of full cans in the basement. In an effort to grow my brother’s collection, Steve graciously offered to “empty” the cans for my brother. My brother was thrilled. Come to think of it, so was Steve!
Steve joined the Army and I was on a big letter-writing kick back then. I wrote all of my family. I even made my dad write me at summer camp . I took written communication very seriously, even back then.
So I secured Steve’s military address and wrote him a letter. EVERYONE told me that he wouldn’t write me back. I even wrote that in my letter — “Nobody thinks you will write me back, but I KNOW you will.”
A couple of weeks passed and in the mail, I saw my future mantra written on the back of the envelope. Steve wrote, “Prove those naysayers wrong!”
Years passed and, sadly, he left the country and we lost touch. Who are we kidding, we lost touch BEFORE he left the country. The art of letter writing was dying and I got distracted with other things.
By the way, my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Mumbrue, used to call me “Harriet The Spy”. We read the book that year and I totally got into the whole spy thing. In fact, would it be dorky for me to read that book now? I digress.
I have been searching for Steve for years. His 50th birthday was coming up and I made it my mission to wish him a happy birthday. That is when I really put my “spy skills” to work, much like I do for my various reunions when I need to find people. This challenge was no different. I had five days to meet my goal.
Enter Facebook. I knew that being on Facebook was not a Steve kind of thing, so I tapped into the hope that his immediate family would be. I found his wife on there and squealing with joy wrote her a note. A couple of days pass and I don’t hear anything. Getting antsy with my deadline, I go after his sure-to-be technologically aware daughter. I send her my email address and implore her to tell her dad that I am looking for him.
On Steve’s birthday, circa 2pm CST, my cell phone’s green light blinked. Halloo, an email from the daughter! Would that be my second cousin? I was jumping up and down like I had won the lottery. We friended each other and I promptly thanked her and asked her to wish her dad a happy birthday (mission accomplished)!
Later that day, I look at her page and see a baby. A freshly produced baby, as in 48 hours old! Although Steve’s daughter had just given birth, she had taken the time to write me, which made me even more thrilled. That day I watched as the family reconnected on Facebook. It was delightful. It was remarkable.
But, I was still a bit let down because I hadn’t officially communicated directly with Steve.
The next day, I bounce out of bed and am greeted with the green light on my phone blinking. I assume it is my blog mentor’s latest post that comes to my phone around that time. But it isn’t.
The subject line read: Hi Cousin Lauren….It’s Steve.
Time and people are constantly taken for granted. At times, it’s beyond frustrating. However, this was one of those feel-good moments that I’ll keep with me whenever I need a pick-me-up.
Posted on January 7, 2012, in Rave and tagged childhood, Facebook, family, goal setting, gratitude, humor, motivation, reflections, social media, social networking, thoughts, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.