My personal history reveals this fact. As one of my cousins prophetically said: “We are) a family of strangers” and we were ( are are now again). My six female cousins( and yours truly came together briefly, largely through email but also one of two rare and unique personal contacts – – meeting one another, sometimes for the first time ever. They are my cousins as my father was the seventh son born of George and Janet Dryburgh (an eighth son followed). All seven sons married and bore children – my beloved Uncle Dave was the only childless exemption. Grandmother Dryburgh died early (my father was 11 at the time of her death) and this motherless family had no nurturing beacon. They scattered themselves across Canada (one even going to Australia). Consequently no family get togethers or even, in some cases, meeting one another. My uncompleted biography brought my cousins together, they were named The Niece’s Nexus. (by me) But something happened with our mission – I gave up the book for many reasons, one was their desertion of me and the project, it not a major factor but it did go into the mix. I have not been in touch with the vast majority of the seven cousins for more than a year.
So I reached out. One cousin, in past years, had sent a rather typical Christmas letter , but not so this year. So I did it and I shall share it – none of their names are mentioned as I can invade my own privacy but not those of others – their last names are their marital names so none bear the recognizable name,
So here is my email to them – not invading their privacy, just mine.
Me: To the Niece’s Nexus, Each and Every One of You.
Admittedly, I intended to send this missile sooner but, in the end, did not get to it. G., whom I am in touch with, can attest to my good intentions. First of all, I suppose the shocker. It is a Non Christmas letter (or actually an email) because I no longer celebrate Christmas, I became a Muslim during this eventful (to all) 2020. So I am not celebrating Christmas but nevertheless wearing my Christmas sweaters with my Mother’s Christmas stocking on the door of my Marin County apartment. (moved from San Francisco this month). I am most happy in the Islamic faith and, my ‘parents’ are younger than I am. The magic is this, got a whole new family, their last name begins with a K – we jokingly refer to me as the baby – my siblings are two ‘older’ brothers 28 and 27 (both University graduates) and an ‘older’ sister (who is 18 with plans to become a physician). Upon my conversion I assumed a Muslim name – which is Ayla (it means Queen) – given to me by a Qatar Princess whose Arabic name means Bee. Honest, I always tell the truth – Aki constantly and continually lied – his daughter does not!
I wish the best for you and your families in 2021. Within the Muslim faith a Muslim woman cannot have sex outside of marriage. So I may have to marry again, it would have to be a a Muslim man. It would be a Muslim marriage( which is rather like a contract signing event, the contract protects the woman’s rights and has been in existence for centuries. However, should I wed, I shall have a ceremonial Christian ceremony – held at Dryburgh Abbey. You shall be invited. There are seats for only 100 people in the indoor spaces, seats may be popular but you shall get priority. I am practically positive that I shall not wed again – but you know me – perhaps three down, one to go. My fourth shall be for life, and beyond. No need to start saving up for the event, you shall be given ample notice.
My blog alexismcbride.com is phenomenally popular with thousands all over the world reading my almost daily blog. I shall later copy and paste a recent blog which describes in some detail, some of the events of my year, which included proposals from two Muslim men – both Princes. Honest!! Neither worked out, by the way, and I am not sorry despite the fact that both of them were multibillionaires. Again, honest!
I shall be fine. always remembering Cousin CA’s comment when disaster seemed to strike. “Alexis, you are like a cat, you always land on your feet!). To you P. at some point, shall pen an utterly amusing story about my ashes. They are not going to take the place of Aunt Eunice’s in the Regina cometary, above Uncle Dave. I am not going to become ashes at the end of my long life, it is contrary to the Islamic faith.
Again the best to you all. You can either 1) ignore this email 2) respond or 3) do both and then read my daily blog, but not insisting at all. Thousands do and strangely enough I am most uncomfortable with the fame. Just heard on NPR about a possible spiritual renewal in this country – I do so hope and pray this happens. With affection, Your crazy cousin, Aki’s daughter, Alexis (aka Ayla).
This is not exactly a ‘typical’ Christmas Eve, for anyone. Much less me, or my poor cousins who thought they ‘left me in peace’. Not so. Perhaps another blog on the day.
I strode about the apartment complex this evening looking at the patios and decks of 68 separate units, eight of them had Christmas lights or decorations and I was one of them. Pretty pathetic – always thought that outdoor decorations reflected depression – sadness prevented any effort to decorate and bring light and joy. I remained convinced of my insight. But think of how beautiful and sparkling this place would be if we all sported lights, the symbol of hope actually in these dark days surrounding the Winter Solstice. Most religions have a celebration and this time of year to bring hope to people, that spring and the sun are coming.
Did try to bring cheer. Spoke to Able Manager (hereinafter VAM, which stands for Very Able Manager). The following conversation took place.
Me: Hi, I stopped by to show you my ugliest Christmas sweater,
He; Indeed, I can see the pot of gold. So tasteful!
Me: You are so into Christmas, I have an idea! Organize a carol singing around the fire pit. Despite the fact that I always hated Christmas (and now am a Muslim) I know the words of Christmas carols, even the second and third verses.
He: I would do it any year but not this year because of the pandemic.
Me: Well ok. Will not do it on my own unless I get very drunk. Not planning on it however.
I did not. Instead emailed my long-lost-lost cousins. Soon, soon off to turn off my Christmas lights. Hopefully Santa will fill my stocking. I have been a good girl, particularly after the pandemic and then the conversion to the Islamic faith. Hahahaha Unfortunately, all of this virtue is true.
The photograph is of my Christmas decorated refrigerator. The pot holders were made by my mother, I do believe. There is an angel, purchased at the Car Boot Sale in Pimlico, London.
I have six angels (perhaps seven) angels – one of them is my secret angel whose nickname is IMPEL – not telling nobody what that stands for. Some time ago Wise Man asked the name of my angel;
Me: He does not have a name. I shall have to name him myself.