Around 7 years ago my grandmother was reading our local paper when she came across a letter to the editor from a lady in London, England searching for any relatives of Thomas Rice. My grandmother remembered seeing this name on a gravestone in the cemetery where her parents were buried. She did a little research and found that he was related to her (us) so she sent a letter back to the lady in England with all the information she could gather and a picture of the gravestone.
They began a letter writing friendship for the next year or so. My grandmother was 84 at the time and she became enamored with everything British. Eventually she invited the lady from England (Jan) and her sister (Gillian) to come to Canada and stay with her. We thought Gram was crazy and worried a bit about her inviting two almost strangers to stay with her but she would hear nothing of our concerns.
Jan and Gillian arrived and were perfectly lovely ladies. We found through a bit of research that we were indeed cousins and a wonderful friendship between our families began. Since this time they have returned almost yearly and their brother and his wife have come a couple times as well. Some of our family have been to their home in London....including my grandmother who was 88 at the time.
Yesterday we picked Jan up at the airport as she had planned a trip for Gram's 91st birthday which would have been on June 1st. Sadly Gram passed away last weekend so she didn't get the chance to see her "English Lady" one more time. Gram told us she knew from the letters that Jan would be a nice lady...almost reminds me of how I feel about the people who write the blogs that I read. I think I would invite any of them into my home....and we would carry on like friends. I think blogging is like a modern day pen-pal relationship...without the long wait by the mailbox...good thing because I'm kind of impatient.