I have some family members that I don't really know. I know who they are, and recognize them if I run into them, but they have no idea who I am, and it's sad really. I live near many of my family members. All within a mile and a half area are me with my kids and hubby, my parents, my brother, an uncle (dad's brother), 2 cousins, and an aunt (dad's sister). Another uncle (dad's brother0 has like a weekend place in the same area. Not that much farther away, I have another uncle (dad's brother), aunt, and 2 cousins, these family members that I don't really know. The last time I really saw them was at my grandfather's funeral in October 1997.
Then a couple weeks ago, I ran into one of these cousins at Walmart. He was the cashier checking me out. I knew as soon as I saw him who he was. I just stood there while he was rining up all my things, and then while I was paying I asked, "You don't know who I am, do you?" He just kind of gave me that "Should I" look. So I told him, "I'm your cousin." He still just kind of looked at me, so I told him, "I'm your Uncle (my dad's name) daughter." His reply was, "Oh, I'm sorry, there are just so many of us (family last name) cousin's running around." The truth is, there really aren't that many of us in this area. Counting myself, there are 8 of my grandmother's grandkids in this area.
Not even a week later, I was back at Walmart, and again went through this cousin's line. Again, he didn't know who I was. It's really sad when you don't even know who your own family is. What happened to the days when a person knew their extended family? I have other family members that I don't see to all that often, or even talk to on a regular basis, but if we run into each other, we know who the other is. And in the area where I live, I believe that it is more than important for a person to know who they are related to. I am related in one way or another to just about half the small town I live in. So of course I want to know who I am related to, and I want my children to know. I don't want my kids to grow up and get married, then discover they have married a cousin of some sort!