Have you ever lost something without even realizing you had it in the first place? By now, you are probably thinking of some random item you have misplaced. I am referring to something more important, and definitely more exciting than that. Back in 2011, important news spread like wildfire throughout my mother's side of the family. A long-lost relative, my great-aunt Johanna, was discovered on the Internet by one of my mother's cousins. That entire half of the family, including me, now has more than 80 new relatives in Ireland. My grandmother, who is very special to me, had found her long-lost sister she never knew and could not wait to meet her.
Our new relative was a gift and we would have never figured out about her without a nudge from God, the one person who can help us most. Johanna is a very interesting, caring, soft-spoken and kind person. She was born in Dublin, Ireland, and lived there until she was 17. She married an Irish army soldier and moved to Tipperary, Ireland, to live with his family. She is very peaceful, even after having 15 children and 70 grandchildren. Even with a tough early life, she was grateful to have had a caring foster family and remains friends with her foster sister to this day.
Finally, on one fateful day back in 2011, Johanna came to America to visit us. When she came she visited all of my mom's side of the family. She also went to Saint Rosalie's Church in Hampton Bays with my grandmother, the church my great-grandmother Josephine often went to. Another place she visited was my great grandmother's old summer house and favorite beach. Finally, she came to my house. She was very serene and quiet, and she loved animals. She took a particular liking to my grandmother's dog Annie. She even fed her scraps from the table.
Meeting Johanna really changed the way I think. Meeting her has made me realize that I must count my blessings every day and be grateful for my wonderful family. Johanna overall was very religious too. She seemed at peace with the world and we all knew she was a special gift for us. My family and I can't wait to see her again in May. We will always be grateful for her and she will always be a wonderful gift that we had lost, then found.