I grew up with no extended family. My mother's family lives in Spain. I've met my grandmother, my aunts, and my mother's cousins. One of my aunts has a son, which would make him my first cousin. I've never met him. I believe he's a teenager now, but I could be wrong.
On my father's side, I have met all of his cousins that live in Florida, the aunts, which have since passed away, and my grandmother. I actually only met my grandmother for a week when I was around 11. She passed away a few years later from ovarian cancer. My father has a brother, a niece, and nephew in Cuba. He hasn't seen his brother since 1971 and has never met his niece or nephew.
That was until yesterday. My cousin, Hector, just came from Cuba three months ago and has been living in Florida at a friend's house until he decides whether he wants to stay down there or come live with my parents. He came up to meet us all. I can't begin to tell you how happy my father is. He is gleaming and so are we. Hector resembles my father when he was younger. It's just weird to meet someone else that resembles my father besides me.
It was so incredibly nice to sit down as a family at my sister's house last night. We watched a video that was sent to him by his parents that showed where my father grew up. My uncle, aunt (his wife), my other cousin (Hector's sister) and her husband took turns talking to us. Each one had a message for everyone of us. It was very touching. It was also the first time that my father sees his home since he left. My father seemed very touched. We laughed a lot and also sat there in amazement watching this video. It was a bit surreal.
Hector had a tough time yesterday meeting all of us. We aren't the only family he has up north, either. He has another uncle that lives in Union City that my father took him to meet. As much as I was nervous to meet him, I could only imagine how he feels having to meet all of us. He really seems like such a great guy. I'm glad that we finally met. It's unfair that we never had the chance to grow up together, but meeting him now is better than later.
I snapped some pictures so you could all meet him.
Here's Hector and my father:
This is of my father, Hector, nephew, Jose, and niece, Jacque:
This one is of the cousins. My sister Amy, Hector, myself, and Jacque:
As you could tell, we're very happy. I really hope that he decides to move up here. I want to be able to spend more time with him. It won't make up for all of those years lost, but it will make a difference.