Family bonds can be a marvelous thing! My mother and father were just spending the weekend in the house where he was born, in Bulgaria’s Melnik region. As they were taking a walk in the nearby village, someone recognized him as the son of his father. My grandfather had a good reputation in the region because our clan is old and well-known in Southwest Bulgaria.  The people who recognized my father invited him to sit with them. They told him we were relatives. My father didn’t recognize their family name at fist, so they explained to him how we were related:

A woman from their kin, Elena Talkova from the village of Harsovo, had married a man from our kin, Alexa Milyov from Kapatovo, over 125 years ago! She had a daughter and two sons,  the younger of whom was the father of my grandfather Alexa. Elena had died over a 110 years ago. Still, the family preserved her memory, and the two kinfolk still consider themselves relatives!

Later, one of my father’s uncles confirmed that over 50 years ago, we had family interaction with the Talkovi kin and that we will continue to perceive ourselves as one family as long as the successors remembered the family history.

I believe in preserving family traditions. That’s why my brother is also called Alexa, and I am named after my great-grandmother, Militza.