I know that some people here on MFC don't like Facebook and that's fine. In fact, I have my own page that I rarely use. Pretty much all the friends I have are relatives. You know, there's a joke from comedian Natasha Leggero in which she says, "Just because someone raised you, does not mean that you have to add them on Facebook." That's so funny and yet so true. I never really had any interest in joining Facebook until two summers ago, my mom got a call from one of my aunts saying that my uncle was on Facebook. Now, ever since I was a kid, I never grew up with a large family. It was just my mom, my dad, and my grandma. For a long time, I always wanted an uncle because every time I watched TV, I was jealous that everyone always had these huge families that would visit. Other than the family members I mentioned, everyone else lives back in Colombia. I always asked about my uncle because I wanted to meet him if I knew where he was. I always asked my mom about him and she always said she didn’t know he was. Last she heard, he was living in Sweden. This was over 20 years ago and no one in my family had seen him since, until now.
So the next day, I went on Facebook and sent a message saying, “My name is Armando Vanegas. I wanted to know if you, Cesar Montano, are my uncle.” Then I told him who my mother was in the message. He replied back yes. Then the rest was history. It was soon clear than after 20 years, a family was about to be reunited. My mom joined Facebook and she met him. They talked for an extremely long amount of time understandably. We also met the rest of his family through Facebook. One of his sons is a skateboarder and let me just say, I see talent in that one. It was one of the most memorable experiences I ever had. So during the summer, my mom and I kept in touch with Cesar. Finally, my mom offered to fly him out to Houston. So they could meet again and also because my grandma was just developing Alzheimer’s. Mom thought she could use some extra help with my grandma. I came home one late Monday evening. There were voices coming out of my grandma’s room. One voice didn’t sound familiar. I thought, “It must be him.” I open the door. I see this large dark presence with a large piece of hair reminscient of Sideshow Bob. We met, hugged, talked, and I found out he loved movies as much as I did. He was just so cool and relaxed and funny. Even in this stressful situation with my grandma, he managed to keep his cool. He was such a great cook. I swear judging by the food he made, I’m surprised he didn’t do it professionally. For all this time, he was living in Denmark working a special education teacher. He also had a daughter, Sara, who came to visit. She was so sweet and friendly. By the way, Sara dislikes Facebook. She actually prefers Skype. She’s actually in the film business. Apparently, she was an editor on a Lars von Trier movie, but she wouldn’t tell me which one. Not to mention, her mother, my ex-aunt, worked on the set of Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander (this is the only Bergman movie I’ve seen). So when you think about it, this love of movies is in my blood. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s not something you just mention in passing. They stayed for almost a month and we enjoyed having them here. We still keep in touch with Cesar in Denmark. Sara has been hard to keep in touch with due to her work schedule but as far as I know, she’s doing fine. After 20 years, I’m happy to have met my uncle and I love him. So here’s a sentence I never thought I’d say: Facebook reunited my family.