Monday, February 6, 2012

Discovering a Sister

I don't think I came right out and admitted it on my blog but I have mentioned it off hand a couple times since. It was a little over two years ago when I discovered that I had a half-sister in this world. After my parents divorced and my father gave up all parental rights to my step-father, he disappeared from my life never to be seen again until our chance run-in that I blogged about last fall. Since that time, I dug a little bit and learned that my father had remarried for a three year period back in the mid 80's and that marriage produced a daughter. Search as I might, I never could learn her name, her mother's name, when and where she came into this world. Basically way too many unknowns to ever make a reasonable case of establishing her identity.

I did find one clue in the form of a picture of my father and what was labeled as his grandson posted among the clutter of the web. I spent much time searching for the parents of that boy whose last name was listed but could only find his father, not his mother. After some time, I eventually discovered that I had ventured down the wrong track and that the grandson was actually the grandson of my father's third wife, a product of one of her previous marriages and thus no blood relation to me. The trail for ever discovering the identity of my half sister went cold.

Over the years as I traced my paternal line of ancestors, a name kept reappearing as the source of a lot of that information. Thinking she must long be deceased, I never attempted contact but eventually I went back and wanted to cross that 'T' anyway and discovered that she was alive and kicking and a distant cousin of mine. She sent me a book of her research which included descendants of my paternal ancestors. Flipping through the book I found my name, my younger brother's name and then most shocking to me, the name of my half sister.

Rebecca. She was born on the same day I was born just twelve years later.

I am at a loss or at least am having an internal struggle about what to do with this information. I have already done a cursory search and know where she spent her formative years in southern Missouri but do not know where she might be right now.

This brings me right back to my struggle of whether or not I want to make contact with my paternal side of the family. Their blood courses through my veins and yet they are strangers in my life. I have just a few hazy memories while my younger brother has none. I have but minimal-send-a-card-on-holidays contact with my paternal grandmother, the very one who mentioned offhand that I had a half sister two years ago.

For now I have a name, Rebecca, and she is out there somewhere and celebrates a birthday the same day I do. I will probably keep looking for her and will cross the bridge of whether or not to make contact when I get there.

8 comments:

Vince said...

I have one of each I've never seen either. Equally I'm uncertain if I should initiate contact.
Instinct is telling me to leave well alone.

R. Sherman said...

It's hard to know. I would let fate and time sort it out.

Cheers.

sage said...

Congratulation on knowing that you have a sister--but it does leave you with a potential dilemma. I agree with Randall about letting fate and time work it out.

On another hand, you might be interested in this blog post about your neck of the woods: http://elsewhereandelsewhen.blogspot.com/2012/02/iowa-by-car-pt-1.html

Ed said...

All - Thanks for the advice. For now, I have been and will probably continue to leave it alone. Still it is nice to have a name after all this time.

Sage - Thanks for the link. I can't wait for the rest of the story.

Bone said...

That's a tough call. But you spent all this time trying to find out who she is for some reason.

Vince said...

That earlier comment reads wrong.

It should read half-brother and sister. Anyhows I didn't know of their existence 'til after my father died, nor his death not until a year after it happened. I read an obituary on the web from a local newspaper one morning about this time of year.

geri said...

Ed, the situation just seems pretty alien to me but I can imagine there are many people who has the same dilemma as you. Follow your gut feel.

geri said...

btw, those new captcha you have now are so hard to read (got some arabic looking symbols too), took me 5 tries!