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Published on January 15th, 2013 | by Rick Atkinson

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A Family Found!


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Christmas 2012 will be special to me. On Boxing Day I received a bulk e-mail asking if I was born in Montreal, Quebec and grew up in Vancouver. Since this is fact, I wrote back asking for additional information and a telephone number. As a result of several e-mails, I called and spoke with Dan. What transpired is magical! Not only is Dan related, he is a cousin I was not aware of.

Dan and I had a lengthy conversation about my father Jack, his life in Montreal and subsequent move to Vancouver. My father, like many of his generation, was reluctant to speak about his upbringing, relatives, past adventures and life experiences. His past history was much like a blank slate.

I have found a cousin – Dan. I learned, through Dan’s geological searching, that I have a half-sister living in Arizona. When Dan told me about Sady, I was reluctant to call, not knowing the reception I may receive. However, when I did phone two days after speaking with Dan, I connected with a wonderful, 83 year old lady who sounds warm and cheerful. As with Dan, Sady and I talked for over an hour, sharing stories, talking about our lives and families and
generally building family bridges. The connections with Dan and Sady continue and our comfort with each other grows with each call and e-mail.

I also learned I have relatives throughout Quebec and as far away as Connecticut and Illinois. In a short period of time I’ve gone from having a very limited size family to one which spans two countries.

My Christmas happening has inspired me to not only reach out to my new-found relatives but to begin searching genealogical sites looking for more clues to my roots.

As a result of what happened over the Holidays, I have a feeling of increased wholeness. As a person, I feel happier and more fulfilled knowing about my newly-extended family.

Do you know who your relatives are? Ever wondered about your grandparents or great-grandparents’ place of birth, occupation, interests and hobbies? Want to leave a gift of family history to the ones you love? I encourage you to record your knowledge about yourself, your parents and other relatives. Talk to known relatives about what they know of your family history. Use geological sites to search your background and history. It is amazing what you
may learn.

If someone reaches out to you as part of their search of family, don’t dismiss them out of hand. Be cautious with your information. However, when comfortable, risk a telephone conversation or writing an e-mail, you may, like I did, find missing members of your family.

I wish you joy and success in finding your ‘roots’. It is amazing how such information is treasured.

Please share your family stories with me. I’d love to know what happens as a result of your geological searching. My e-mail address is: ramgt@rogers.com.

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About the Author

Richard (Rick) Atkinson, Founder and President of RA Retirement Advisors, is an expert in pre-retirement planning. He is author of the best-selling book, Don’t Just Retire – Live It, Love It! Rick facilitates workshops for clients of advisors and others. He is available for speaking engagements. www.dontjustretire.com. Twitter: @dontjustretire.



2 Responses to A Family Found!

  1. Anonymous says:

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  2. Anonymous says:

    May I simply just say what a relief to find somebody that genuinely understands what they’re talking about over the internet. You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people really need to look at this and understand this side of your story.

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