Yesterday was my uncle's funeral. When we first heard about his death, I immediately let my cousins (that I rarely see or talk to) know that I could make cakes for the luncheon and anything else they needed help with, count me in. (Background info: I have a huge family. My mom is one of 12 children, so I have over 70 first cousins on that side alone.) There's a dive bar in town that is sort of tradition to go to after a funeral, and yesterday was no exception. At one point in the night, I went into the bathroom and my cousin was just bawling her eyes out. I gave her a hug and she was saying that she missed her parents (she lost her mom to cancer last year) and felt bad because while she was close to her dad, she has never really known the family and isn't close to any of the cousins. She kept crying and said how much it meant that I made the cakes because I don't know her or her siblings and I didn't have to do it. It made me feel good that she was honestly grateful for the cakes I made, but I felt horrible because she was right, I don't know her, her sister, or her brother. Her parents got divorced a long time ago, and I had never even met her mom.
I went back to my table and told my mom and my other cousin what had just happened, and I started crying too (it was quite the emotional day). Later, she came and sat with us and was saying how we don't need to wait until a wedding, funeral, or Christmas party to get together, and we made plans to get together just for the sake of getting to know each other. I'm pretty excited about these new friendships about to start.
I still can't believe it all started because of a couple of cakes:
I'm so glad something positive is coming out a sad event. It is sad how we wait for a special occasion or tragedy to get together with our extended families, you have made me think that I need to do that too.
Sorry to hear of your loss. I too grew up not knowing my dad's family. My parents divorced when I was three. My mom moved us around a lot. I now see that side of the family at least once a year. Now I have facebook to keep in touch with them.
SO glad to hear y'all have something to look forward to. Families are sooo important. Its never too late to build on our relationships, or to bake a cake. GOod luck with everything.