I wonder what my great grandmother would have thought as I pack my bags for the trip this weekend. She had wanted to go back or must have at least written about it to relatives that she had left behind. It was in the letter that was written in September of 1929 from her niece that I had translated for me some time ago, “when are you coming to visit?”
It may have taken 81 years but that visit is about to happen. Next week I will meet the great grandson of my great grandmother’s brother, Désiré, her elder brother by 18 years. To think that only a year ago I knew very little about my Defruytier relation and now, thanks to a work event that puts my feet on Belgian soil, I get the chance to say hello in person.
We have been fortunate to have another distant cousin translating for us, me with my practically non existent French and him with his rusty English, I am a little anxious to see how well this goes. Much of the family had moved from Belgium to France by the 1920s and I am curious as to the reason why. I am also curious why my line of the family were the only ones to move to the states. I may not get the answers, just a new friend and that is okay too.
It is here, finally and I am looking forward to the experience, to be where they once were, to see some of what they saw. I am pretty sure this would have made my great grandmother smile.