Just before Christmas I got to meet some of my relatives for the first time in quite a while. My aunt(-in-law) Gem and my cousin Justin were in town for a few days. Hadn’t seen Justin in almost 20 years… both of us were much younger than at present, and while I barely remember it (my sister and I visited them in Brisbane for Expo ’88, when I was 18) he would have been about 4, and remembers absolutely nothing about it.
He’s a fully-fledged ABC (Australian-born Chinese), while I’m half-a-one. I was slightly amused to see that at 22 he had started to get grey hair, and I mentioned I’d started going grey about the same age, then pointed to my own very streaky-grey hair and said to him “This is your future!” He laughed.
They live in Perth, and said we’d be welcome to stay if we went over. I’d like to see Perth, but it’s a long way away, so I don’t know if I’ll see them again any time soon.
Indeed, talking to them, and looking through some old family photos, it reinforced to me that despite this age of instant and cheap communications, the various arms of relatives of my extended don’t really keep in very good contact with one another. And that it’s almost shameful how little we know about our ancestors and distant relatives.