Betty Ago: Wedding

Just yesterday, we received a beautiful wedding invitation in the mail. It is very elegant and speaks of the joy of the two families who are about to be joined. We have never met these people. It is a long story of coincidences, and unknown connections, and the genius of the internet, that resulted in this opportunity.

A few months ago, my husband began skyping with a previously unknown cousin. This cousin found my husband after years of genealogic research for family members. The cousin is a grandchild of my husband’s mother’s brother. This does not sound farfetched except that we had no knowledge of his, or his father’s, or his grandfather’s existence.

My mother-in-law, one of nine siblings (we used to think it was eight), came to this country around 1920. So did six others. One sister and one brother stayed behind in the old country. They both married and had at least one child. Sister was killed, we don’t know how. Her children came to America.  Brother was arrested and sent to one of Stalin’s gulags in Siberia.  Brother’s wife, with a child to care for, changed her last name to protect her child. My mother-in-law never, ever mentioned this lost brother to my husband.

Brother died in that camp. Two years after his death, his wife received a letter apologizing for his incarceration. It had been a mistake, the government officials said. Actually, it was probably political and he had said the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time. However, we will never really know. Brother’s son survived and continued to live in Russia. His son, Brother’s grandson, and his new bride decided that life in Russia was not for them and with much effort and luck, immigrated to Canada. They learned English, they worked hard, they made a home, and they made a son.  That son (a successful professional man) is now getting married. It is to his wedding, in Toronto, that we have been invited.

Betty Ago



Betty is a real person who resides in one of our Brookdale entry fee communities. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Brookdale Senior Living.

Just yesterday, we received a beautiful wedding invitation in the mail. It is very elegant and speaks of the joy of the two families who are about to be joined. We have never met these people. It is a long story of coincidences, and unknown connections, and the genius of the internet, that resulted in this opportunity.

A few months ago, my husband began skyping with a previously unknown cousin. This cousin found my husband after years of genealogic research for family members. The cousin is a grandchild of my husband’s mother’s brother. This does not sound farfetched except that we had no knowledge of his, or his father’s, or his grandfather’s existence.

My mother-in-law, one of nine siblings (we used to think it was eight), came to this country around 1920. So did six others. One sister and one brother stayed behind in the old country. They both married and had at least one child. Sister was killed, we don’t know how. Her children came to America.  Brother was arrested and sent to one of Stalin’s gulags in Siberia.  Brother’s wife, with a child to care for, changed her last name to protect her child. My mother-in-law never, ever mentioned this lost brother to my husband.

Brother died in that camp. Two years after his death, his wife received a letter apologizing for his incarceration. It had been a mistake, the government officials said. Actually, it was probably political and he had said the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time. However, we will never really know. Brother’s son survived and continued to live in Russia. His son, Brother’s grandson, and his new bride decided that life in Russia was not for them and with much effort and luck, immigrated to Canada. They learned English, they worked hard, they made a home, and they made a son.  That son (a successful professional man) is now getting married. It is to his wedding, in Toronto, that we have been invited.

Betty Ago

 

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