So, I had mentioned in a previous blog about my baby sister Christin. I was so excited when she was born, she was like my own little baby doll. I was about 4 or 5 and I would sit in the old recliner in our fathers living room, you know the ones that had open spaces when it was reclined, I went to sit up with her and then leaned forward and closed her legs in it. I was so scared that I hurt her, but she was fine with all the cushions. This just happens to be one of the first memories I can recollect, and we still laugh about it today.
Our father was an alcoholic and I used to go see them on the weekends. The last weekend I remember, he was out at the bar which was normal. Paula was Christin’s mother and she was home with us and her 2 boys. She used to let us stay up later than our father. We were watching tv way past the time he allowed when we heard him pull in. Paula rushed me and the boys to our rooms and she told us to just be quiet and go to bed.
I remember being in my room with my sister in her crib and hearing him come through the front door like a hurricane. The Livingroom tv still had cartoons on it and it was the first thing he saw. Paula tried to walk away and go into their basement bedroom to get ready for bed. You could hear him yelling and then they both began to yell. I could not really make out what they were saying but then Paula came running through the kitchen, which my bedroom was off of, naked. Joe went right behind her and watched her run out the front door.
He was yelling at her and his last words were “I will take both of my daughters and nobody will see them again”. I began to panic, am I never going to see my mother again? What does he mean nobody will see us again? He walked back down the stairs and once I heard silence, I ran to the phone that was hanging on the kitchen wall and called home. My stepfather answered the phone and I blurted out “MY FATHER IS GOING TO TAKE ME AND MY SISTER AND I WILL NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN”. I could not even tell you what his response was but he and my mother made it there in record time.
Once my mother and stepfather showed up, they were talking to Paula and asked her if she wanted them to take Christin for a little while till they figured it all out, Paula said no. This was the last weekend I would go to my father’s house. Following this weekend, for a couple of months, my father would stop by my house maybe once a month to visit and bring my sister.
I remember begging my mom every time we went to the store asking her if we could buy my sister gifts for the next time she came to visit. The gifts began to pile up after several months of no visits. Soon my mother could not reach Paula or Joe at all. Months turned to years and I always thought of her, more than I ever thought of my father. This was the one gift that he gave me that I would never let go of.
In 1995 when I was notified that my father had passed away, we were also notified from the social security office that my mother would begin to receive payments for being a widow (they were separated but not divorced) and she would also receive payments for me as child support. My mother asked them if they were able to locate his other daughter because she would be entitled to child support as well. They said they had no record of another child.
The worst started to go through my mind. My mother asked them why they would not have a record of her. The office of social security said she may have been adopted and if so, that would be confidential. It made sense with the way our father and her mother were.
Skip to 2002ish, I looked up my father’s father. I was able to locate his address and he was just a few towns away. Full of anxiety I decide to go on an expedition that day to try to figure out where I came from and to maybe get some answers on where my sister was. I failed! Nobody had information about my sister. Nobody had talked to or seen her. Frankly, nobody besides the local drunks had anything good to say about my father.
In 2005, I had a myspace account and had searched for my sister on there and came up no results. I had posted a couple of times letting people know that I was looking for her, what I believed her full name was and the last town I knew she was in. I was not getting any hits. In 2007, I received a message from an unknown person asking me if my father was Joe. I reluctantly answered yes. Waiting full of curiosity to see what the next question was.
I received another message from Christin, I think that you are my sister she said. My father was Joe and my mother was Paula. OMG, this was unreal to me, after all this time we finally were able to connect. It felt great that I was not the only one searching, then I was examining her page and realized I had been searching for the wrong last name the whole time! She was given her mother’s last name and not our fathers, also we called her Chrissy and her full name was Christin which I never knew. I would have never found her because there was no way for me to know the last name she carried.
We began to talk just in messages and clicked right away. We had so many similarities in our personality, our early childhood experiences, and we would experience the same grief over losing a father we never got to truly know. Best of all we had the same drive to be nothing like them. After talking for a couple of days, we realized we were both pregnant with little girls and we were only 3 months apart. How weird is that!
We talked for several months and at this time I had moved to FL and she was still in CT. After our daughters were born, we arranged to meet. I drove to CT with my daughter and family and we met for dinner. It was kind of awkward but at the same time almost so natural. I was filled with as much happiness as I was nerves. We continued to talk and build a relationship that blossomed very quickly.
The following year I was getting married, she flew to Florida to stay with my husband and I for a week. During this week, our daughters started to bond, and we continued to bond, she and I finally went to release our fathers’ ashes that I had held on to waiting for this moment and it was a fresh start. Within the next 2 years, either we went to CT or she came to FL and we talked regularly.
In 2012, she decided she was going to pack up all her belongings and move to FL. I could not have been more excited as I was expecting my second child. She came to live with us for a couple months and get established. Everything had truly started to fall into place for our relationship. I would sit there and wonder what it would have been like if we didn’t lose all that time, but now that we have reunited, the feeling was almost like no time had passed at all. She was still my baby sister that I cherished as a child.