When we all moved to America years ago not only were we reuniting with my brother and his family we were also reuniting with my cousins who lived in Canada 13 years prior to our arrival. My cousin and her daughter are two women who had and still have huge influence on me. They both played a big part in my life in our first and most difficult immigration years. They might not remember everything but it was the two of them who suggested I go to college right away. It was them who suggested my husband get his engineering degree verified and it was them who even told me that I needed to shave my legs (yes I am admitting this publicly).
This passed weekend we went to visit my cousins in Toronto. In the early years, right after we got our green cards, we tried to visit each other at least twice a year, but for the last several years, life took over and we did not see them for almost 3 years. We finally had a chance to sit down and reminisce about the past and what I found out was quite interesting. Apparently my cousin’s daughter- my 2nd cousin (we are only 5 years apart) told me that as much as she and her mother influenced me, I influenced her when we were both children growing up in the USSR.
What was also interesting was that her childhood memory of Russia is of me explaining to her what S-E-X is all about it (I was shocked – what did I know about S-E-x at the age of 10?) and she also told that my explanation had her traumatized for life. Don’t feel too sorry for her she is happily married with 2 kids, which means that she at least had S-E-X twice.
We laughed and we cried and reminisced some more… she was only 7 years old when she left and moved to Canada and the next time I saw her she was almost 20 years old. We were not sure if we will find anything in common, but now over 20 years later we still have the fondest memories of our childhood and it does not matter who influenced who and where. The truth is the best thing we ever did was to get to know each other again and that coming to America gave us this opportunity to re-unite.
Who influenced you in life and how? I would love to hear your stories.