I hear a lot of complaints about facebook and for the most part I understand them. I hear complaints like “there’s too much drama, there are too many boring statuses from too many people with boring lives, it’s too time-consuming”, etc etc, etc. I know I spend too much time on facebook and my computer in general I don’t need to be told that, although people close to me seem to take every chance they can to do just that.
I moved to this valley in 1979, barely out of high school and pregnant with my second child already. I didn’t want to leave my family but I felt overwhelmed by the life I had ignorantly begun to carve for myself. Moving seemed the only way to force my husband to grow up and face his responsibilities and for the most part it did accomplish that. But it came at a cost.
The years, the miles, and the life’s responsibilities left me little time or money to visit family outside of immediate family. The relationships I had developed with cousins growing up slowly faded away as I missed more and more family functions.
Fast forward 30 years and then came facebook. Since joining facebook I have been to my Aunt and Uncle’s 50th wedding Anniversary party only to have my uncle pass the next day. But I don’t know if I would have even gone if I had not rekindled my relationship with his daughter, my cousin Lisa on facebook and developed what I consider an even stronger bond with her daughter Brittany , my second cousin.
They say a letter in the mail is more personal but honestly if I would have gotten an invitation in the mail I probably would have dismissed it with an “I have to work”. But my cousin emailed me and created an event on facebook. I took vacation from work and I went.
I’ve been to Florida to see my favorite Aunt, my Aunt Joan and her children that live there. I had been planning this trip for several years so it may have happened anyway but facebook allowed me to have a semi relationship with the cousins I had not seen or talked to in many many years, When I got there it wasn’t just Stephanie (who I had been bonding with since Myspace) but it was her siblings who also felt familiar in person because, in part of the relationship we have with each other online.
During my father’s illness I created a few groups on my page to keep the most important people in my life abreast of the progression of the cancer. One of my favorite groups is that of The Marmion First Cousins. This group includes the children of both of my father’s sisters and my own two siblings. Later I added spouses to help families keep up with the posts. Best thing I ever did. The bond that the 16 original plus spouses have made in there is phenomenal; at least it is to me.
Recently my cousin Cyndi, one of those Marmion first cousins, was here from California. We share a love of photography and before her arrival she wrote and suggested she visit so I could show her the country side I love to photograph so much.
After much coordinating with other schedules we carved out a date for us and she arrived with her husband and brother, my cousin Terry on the crappiest weather day we have had this fall. I had a whole trip planned with many stops throughout the county and I even named it; The Shenandoah Valley Itinerary.
We had a really good time and it would have never happened if it had not been for facebook.
I’m looking forward to connecting with more of my cousins in the near future.
Next up the girl “Rappa” cousins.
And then..who knows…
Hello New York are you paying attention?