Monday, August 3, 2009

My Miracle Year: Google Me This...

"I'm on the verge of something, something bigger than I know

Something born of nothing, infinite and whole.

At the place where, where all things change.

Where no one, no one's ever going to stay the same."

Kan'Nal, Dreamwalker: All Things Change

(To the left: my dad holding me and my mother) Sometime this spring, Googling my way around the web – a favorite way to spend waaay too much time -- a totally random thought came to me. I decided to Google my mother’s maiden name, Husom, which is Norwegian and also the actual Norwegian village her father’s family came from (but spelled Husum).

I remember thinking I probably wouldn’t find anything -- but what the hay… Other than a treasure trove of pictures, I don’t really know much about my mother, who died in childbirth when I was 2 ½, or her family. My father, who didn’t get along with many people, didn’t like her family either so I had little contact with them growing up. And then there was the fact that they were mostly in Minnesota, around Long Prairie – a small town right smack in the middle of the state -- and after the age of eight I was raised on the West Coast where most of my father’s family lived.

(To the right: David Husom's picture of Husum, Norway) Googling the name 5 or 6 years ago, I came up with zip, nada. But this time was different. I found a bunch of links. The first one I followed turned out to be the renowned photographer, David Husom. We discovered we are 5th cousins: our great grandfather’s were brothers who came to the US from Norway around 1875.

I continued searching; many links were dead ends. But eventually I found a one with the name Harlen Husom; it was an obituary site that allowed one to leave a message of condolence. I knew that among my mothers 7 siblings, two were twins, Neil and Harlen. So I composed a note of condolence as well as a tentative message identifying myself and my mother. I left the rest to the Universe.

A month later, I received an email from Harlen’s son Steve who identified himself as my first cousin.

To be continued…

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