Just had a nice long phone chat with one of the cousins. Incredible. For one, I could hear our fathers' voices in his. Fortunately, too, he's been in 12-step programs for years, so there's no glossing over the ugly parts. Here's one for the books, he asked me about my HIV, too. No judgment.

He's been able to confirm my childhood impressions on a lot of things, even the gold-digging mommybitch social climber. Can't begin to say how affirming and validating the whole conversation was.

One thing he shared from a friend I thought was particularly appropriate for here: Life isn't about filling the holes. It's about living with them.

I really look forward to talking further with him. And I'll post more as I digest the convo. Made my day/week/month.