- Gender and Relationships
Meeting My Long Lost (or rather New Found) Sister
It would seem to me that there is enough drama, mystery, and suspense within every family to make a good story for any Hollywood Blockbuster. Mine, while unique, is certainly no different. Filled with twists and turns, joy and pain, there are events that have happened in my family that I wished had not, but also pleasant surprises that I'm glad did.
My father's death 12 years ago is one of those events that I wished had never happened. A parent should never have to sit down with their child and share with them the news of their father's passing, especially trying to find the words to explain that their father had committed suicide, but that is what my mom and step dad had to do when I was eleven years old. Somehow when they sat me down I had a sense of what was coming, I knew something terrible had happened to my father. I remember crying, hugging my parents, and soon after they told me falling asleep for a nap in my bedroom. Later that night I asked my mom to rent a movie that my dad and I had watched together several months earlier in theatres. You never really get over losing someone you love, you kind of just get used to the fact that they are no longer around.
That could be the end of my story as far as my dad was concerned- a life of learning to cope without him around, but it is not. See, five years before I was born my dad had fallen in love with a woman, a woman who is not my mother, and out of that love came a beautiful baby girl named Jessica.
I grew up as an only child, but have more or less always been aware that I had a half sister. All I knew about her was her name and that she lived in Hawaii (she has since moved to California). I never thought I would really ever meet her-maybe when I was 40 or something on some random talk show where search investigators are hired to reunite family and friends (the crazy the things we think of sometimes).
Well it was not nearly that dramatic. I will give you one guess where Jessica found me this past May 2009...yep, on facebook. I do not know what you say to a long lost sister whom you have never met, but Jessica courageously found the words and I formed some sort of response; thus marked the beginning of our journey of getting to know one another.
What it is like to get to know your long lost sibling:
Its mainly small talk at first. At first the process is like the beginning of any new relaionship: you talk about how old you are, where you live, your family, your career, etcetera; except the difference is you have all these other thoughts and emotions happening. You do your best to fit your entire life into a nutshell, hoping that they get some idea of who you are while also trying to understand who they are.
You discover new things that probably never crossed your mind before. Jessica messaged me on facebook that she had two children and was getting married in July. I gave her my congratulations on her upcoming wedding and said I would be there if I could...that was it.
The next day while enjoying the red tail lights of LA traffic, it hit me...I'm an aunt! Many happy emotions flooded my body at once- I cried, I laughed...I can't believe I'm an aunt!!! When you grow up an only child you don't expect to have nieces or nephews except possibly through marriage, so you can see what a drastic change it was for me to hear this news. My nephew's name is Thomas (5 years old) and my niece's name is Makenzie (just turned 3).
You find out how much you have in common, despite being a part for so long. When I arrived at Jessica's mom's house one of the first things she said to me was, "Wow, you look like a Register." Well I was wearing a straw hat at the time (something my dad would undeniably wear), but considered this a strange comment due to the fact I always thought myself as looking like a spitting image of my mom (as Jessica thinks she looks mostly like her mom too), but when I met Jessica there were many commonalties that I could not deny. We have the same chin, shoulders, and freckles/moles, it is interesting looking at her. I think if people saw us together they would know we are sisters (feel free to post your opinion below).
Some argue nature while others argue nurture, but here is some information to may support those nature people. Besides physical features we share the genetic qualities of: loving peanut butter confections, nervous mannerisms when attentions is put on us, childlikeness, and an open/hospitable heart towards people (although I think I can learn a thing or two more about this from my older sis).
The Big Day:
Well there could not have been a more exciting day to meet my new found sister for the first time...her wedding. Jessica's mom and I hatched the "top secret" plan, trying to surprise Jessica when I arrived on her doorstep. I know Jessica had suspicions that I was going to be there, but because nothing was certain it did surprise her at least a little bit. I got to Jessica's house and her mom called her outside because "she wanted to show her something in the trunk of her car", but while looking in the trunk and finding nothing she declared, "Jessica meet your sister!" and pointed to the person (me) walking towards her. We embraced one another, the only thing we were able to say was "Hi" over and over. It was a great moment.
What is to come for us:
For everyone life is a journey and for me getting to know my new found sister is a facet of mine. Jessica and I never got the opportunity to experience the "sibling riverly" stage that I heard occurs when you are younger, but now we are able to experience the joys of having a sibling when we are older. Through life's journey we are able to be here for one another, thick or thin, watching eachother's families grow, dreams come true, and maybe I will still "borrow" her barbie.
Our father may have died; but his memory and good attributes live on in both of us. Jessica and I honor him by living our lives to the fullest even though he was not able to and we encourage anyone reading this to do the same. The decision of life and death (whether it be the emotional, spiritual, or physical aspects of living, yours as an individual or possibly at times someone elses) are in your hands and when you are confronted with the decision to choose, no matter what the circumstance... choose life.
I am blessed to have a sister, especially one as genuine and loving as Jessica. Thank you Jess for always thinking of me even when we were not together (I can't believe you looked for me for 10 years!)-your thoughts and prayers for me no doubt surrounded me; and alll the pain that you have held in your heart for losing so much has not gone unnoticed by God, this year marking the beginning of those things/relationships returning to you. Thank You God that Jessica and I are now a part of each others lives-I ask that you keep us and our families safe, making our bonds tight.
Here's to you sis. Blessings.