Friday, August 7, 2009

My Miracle Year: A Connection

Unlike the hesitancy I’ve experienced, Sandy’s email in early June is exuberant and loving. She says, “It is such an exciting joy to find my family!!!!” She ends with “I would love to talk to you. Love your long lost cousin, Sandy.” I reply the next day, “Wanted you to know I got your email and am thrilled…. We will talk soon.”

(To the left: from the left, my father, Sandy's father, her mother and my mother) Still I stall – partly because I always stall when it comes to picking up the phone for any reason. It’s like I have a ‘beware of phone’ gene wired into my DNA. And my husband and I are getting ready for a well-deserved weekend in Santa Barbara. And then I am preparing to drive to Portland to spend some quality time with my BFF and her daughter, my goddaughter. And then my husband is flying up to Portland and we’re driving to Seattle to see my stepson and his new girlfriend. Busy, busy, busy, eh?

Finally, mid-July, I get off my butt. Another miracle, due to the Internet, is that Sandy foumd out in 2007 that she has 6 half-brothers and –sisters from her mother’s second marriage. This is the week that Sandy and her newly found half-sister, Jeanie, are flying to Montana to visit some of Jeanie’s brother’s and sisters (Sandy’s half-siblings), none of which she has met.

(To the right: baby Sandy and her mother) I begin digging into the family pictures – the ones taken when we were kids, most of which I got when my father passed away in 2000. It’s been probably that long since I looked at any of them. I am amazed. I didn’t even know it but I have a bunch of pictures of Sandy as a baby with her mother. I have many many more of her mom and my mom together. I doubt whether she has or has seen any of them.

So while she is in Montana, I scan and email some pics, like of her parents wedding. I get an email back the day she is back from Montana. Do I know who the wedding attendants are? Yes, I reply. They are my mother and my father. I realize that she has never seen a picture of my mother.

The following day Sandy calls. We talk for 3 hours. A couple of days later, Jeanie calls and we’re on the phone for at least 2 hours. Then Sandy and I talk for another 3 hours. Never a fan of delayed gratification, I decide I can’t possibly wait. I’m flying to Sioux Falls the weekend before the reunion. She and I can’t catch up on 55 years while my husband, brother and 3 dogs are present as they will be on the roadtrip to Minnesota. I purchase my plane ticket.

To be continued...

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