Something happened last Monday and I am still trying to wrap my mind around. I’m trying to decipher the signs or if I am just reading too much into it. I wonder if there is always a logical explanation? Is there always a Motiv and a reasoning for everything? I received an email from one of cousins in Germany. I believe that it was 1980 (maybe earlier) that I last talked to him. Wolfgang is a few years older than me and life took us into different directions. He moved to Munich Germany in 1980 and got married. I still remember that cool wedding picture of him and his wife on their motorcycle. He was definitely my idol. Later in the 80’s I moved to the states and we never saw each other again.
Wolfgang is the son of my Dad’s brother. My favorite brother on my dad’s side and he has the same sense of humor my dad had. He likes to laugh, have a good time and has a passion for his motorcycle. He just turned 80 years old and holy cow, he still rides his motorcycle. No secret where I got my passion to ride on two wheels from. Definitely my dad’s side of the family.
While vacationing in Germany and if I was to visit family, it’s always this particular brother, my uncle I make sure to pay a visit. Sometimes when I get lucky enough he starts to reminisce about his younger years and the memories of my dad. I get quiet and listen to the story as I cling onto every word. My uncle has three sons, my cousins, and I have only seen the youngest since I left Germany. The middle cousin is close to my age and it was him that I would hang out with the most. And then there is Wolfgang the oldest. He was somebody I looked up to in my young years. He carried on the family love for motorcycles and became a photographer, another passion I share with him, plus besides being cool and being a great person, he also looked cool and had that long hair all teenage girls in the 80’s loved. It was always a treat when my uncle and those cousins showed up to family birthdays etc. and there was always a great time to be had. In hindsight and in regards to my uncle, I think that I must have looked at him in a way of taking over a fathers role with me. He was the closest example and person in my life to give me a feel of what it would be to have a father. It filled a void, even if it was just temporary and only for a few hours during those special visits.
I have tried to tell him on a few occasions that he has always been my favorite brother. I wanted him to know what impact he had on my life. I’m not sure if I ever succeeded and if he truly knows. He is a humble person, simple and happy about the little things in life. He is modest and to him all this would be a given and nothing out of the extraordinary. It is pretty special to me as I am not taking these things for granted and stay forever grateful to him. I also told him how sad it is that some of the family isn’t closer and that we, the cousins, lost touch over the years. Several years have passed since I last mentioned this to him and he always agreed. I don’t know how and why the topic came up with his son Wolfgang, but last Monday I received a email from him. Awesome right, a wish come true to reconnect, I should be so excited right? To be honest my reaction was none of the above and I still haven’t responded.
I’m wondering if it was the nature of how the note was written. Maybe I interpreted it wrong but it struck me on the odd side. Is there really anything to interpret? I’m wondering if I am making something out of nothing, but here is what I know. My uncle gave Wolfgang one of my written letters to read and he says everything (my life) here sounds very exiting and interesting but also somewhat secretive. I get it and they only get a very tiny glimpse of my day to day life, I’m sure there is a level of curiosity. He gives me a brief description of his current life (which I already knew all of it) and wants to know about my professional and personal life. How is my health, what are my plans for the future and on. It’s rather brief and very inquisitive, and not at all like I thought a attempt to reconnect after nearly 40 years would be. I honestly don’t know what I thought it would be or if I even spent any time considering how and what would transpire if it was ever to happen. And now what, what do I do, write a brief note back that barely even scratches the surface of anything. We are related and it feels as if a stranger has contacted me. I am a very private person and I find myself struggling to respond. You might not think so given that I write a blog about my journey and have been an open book, but everything unfolds at my pace, the way I see fit and feel comfortable with. The requests, demands and direct questions are something else that pry’s into my life in the most personal sense. After all these years of no contact I’m not sure if I’m ready to answer them all. Maybe I need to ponder this a little longer before I do and perhaps I need to look to my animals and the sky to guide me. Thoughts anyone? Help….
My cousin Wolfgang on the left holding his younger brother and me way way way back when.