Have you ever had one of “those” emails that you just knew was a scam of some sort, but a part of you thought there might be a shred of validity to it?

This happened to me a few months ago, when I received an email from someone I had never heard of, but who knew a little too much about my grandmother to be a Nigerian money wiring scammer.  So I emailed him back and in just a few moments I had a whole passel of cousins- steps & halves- that I never knew existed, and the discovery of a family secret that still remains a mystery in many respects.  It’s been an interesting journey and a little overwhelming- but had I not responded to that first email, I would have totally missed the party!

Knowledge makes us responsible, especially when that knowledge involves the lives of other people.  I think that this is a lesson that those older generations knew and lived well.  They used their resources wisely, and part of that was to make sure that future generations were well cared-for.  I see that in the lives of my parents, grandparents, and other older relatives.

They were not all about making a quick buck and living a lavish lifestyle. They were careful to save and build a secure life for themselves, their children, and grandchildren. I believe they were more concerned with leaving a legacy for our generation- and I believe that concept is foreign for many in my generation and younger ones.  They were concerned with those things that have a lasting value, not the passing fancies of the day.

My grandmother’s secret was safe for nearly a century.  But since that email, I have a whole new family that I want to build a relationship with.  It’s a challenge…. a lot of us are old, because our grandmother/grandfather were older.  But if we are going to continue this amazing story- one that I will tell one day- we will need to turn that challenge into an adventure!