Growing up I always felt that I was missing out. There were 5 of us...... mum, dad, me and my 2 brothers DA and TJ. Both sets of grandparents lived an hour away, before both sets moved further away from us down in Kent. My paternal grandparents moved first to Cotswolds then my maternal grandparents moved to deepest Dorset. My dad had a much younger sister but she was at boarding school then moved to Germany to follow her chosen career, she later met and married out there before years later having two children (now in their early 20's). My mum had one brother R who didn't want children, he met and married an American. He had only ever returned to UK a few times in the years since. So our life was not like that of all our friends who had extended families around them. There were no aunts and uncles or cousins in our lives.
My maternal grandfather was an only child but my granny was one of six although I only ever met great uncle John who lived with his wife and only daughter (mum's only cousin) on the south coast near Bournemouth. My paternal grandparents families were a bit of a mystery to us but I had always known that Grandmother M and her sister B had 'so many stepmothers they could make a ladder'. Great aunt B had four children (my dad had 10 cousins but I have no idea who the others are/were). I have always known the names of aunt B's children the youngest J is just 2 years older than me. I have heard tales of his antics when visiting us when I was a baby/toddler but have no recollection myself. Aunt B and her family moved to Glasgow when I was still very young so even these 'cousins' were out of my reach.
I did get to meet J and his sister S back in 1977 when we were on holiday in Scotland, we spent an afternoon visiting aunt B and Uncle D, both J & S were out but popped in for a short time. I was an inpressionable and shy 15 yr old and was instantly smitten with the good looking sporty 17 yr old cousin. The older siblings (sister G & brother D) had left home by then.
Some years later I met G and D (and his wife and baby daughter F) at a suprise family lunch for my grandparents golden anniversary. I was very poorly and spent much of the day sleeping in aunt B's hotel room. Everyone wrongly thought I was pregnant. Although I missed the meal I did manage to be in the family photograph taken in the hotel garden.
I saw my dad's sister BD and her two children a couple of times in the next few years (her son R is just weeks older than my #1 son DC and her daughter A just 2 yrs older). The last time I saw A & R was about 12 years ago. The last time I saw my aunt BD and cousin G was at my dad's funeral 15 yrs ago.
So it has been a long time since I saw most of my family. Great aunt B died a couple of years ago. My Uncle R was run over in Texas about 8 yrs ago.
My only two real cousins A & R who are nearer to the age of my children have grown up in Germany although I now gather that A lives in Ealing.
My only family I see regularly are my mum and my grandmother.
Until yesterday............I have found my family and there are so many ore connections going on that we didn't realise...........but that is another post
some of you will be interested to see who my 2nd cousins are and what we discovered on our day out..........Dani I will email you.