Thursday, October 14, 2010

Finding Family

Seven weeks ago something happened that I would have never imagined.  I received a phone call from my daughter in law, Sariah, regarding an e-mail she said I might be interested in. It was from Ron, a half brother of mine who was looking for people related to our Dad.  He had found her name with an e-mail address on a Rootsweb's page associated with my Dad. Was I ever excited!! Yes, of course. 

You see, I had known that my father had another family although he never talked about them. Never shared a picture, nothing!  We had heard there was a bitter divorce. Our family moved across the country when I was six years old.  I didn't know the names of these children until several years after my fathers death, when my Aunt Phyllis shared them with me. I was surprised, there were four boys and two girls!!  What a big family!! Any other information was all hush, hush, and I was basically told to leave well enough alone.

I had often wondered about this family.  What were they like? How did they survive without a father in their lives?  Would they want contact from us?  Or would that be too painful?  With rather common names it was like looking for a needle in a haystack and I never seriously pursued the search.

As soon as possible I e-mailed Ron and the next day we talked for a long time on the phone.  Life had been hard, but he has forgiven our Dad for what he did, or I should say didn't do.  Ron struggled with bitterness, and alcohol, but turned his life around over 30 years ago.  He is an amazing man and has forgiven our father for what he did to their family!  According to Ron, there never was a divorce only a legal separation, and my dad never paid the family a penny.  That answered a few questions for me, like why our family moved so many times when I was growing up and why my parents got "remarried" when I was a teenager.

In the next few weeks I started to make contact with other family members via Facebook.  There are tons of nieces and nephews I am still trying to figure it all out. We have shared many pictures back and forth and are trying to get to know each other.  I have also had the opportunity to talk to two of my sisters on the phone  (Yeah, sisters, I always wanted sisters!!)  The end of this month, I'm going to be able to meet one of the sisters when she comes out west to visit her son.  I have learned from both of them.  Barbara told me that she was sorry she didn't get to see our Dad one more time before he died, just to tell him, "it's ok".  Gloria was also very forgiving. She also wondered about us too, but didn't think we would care.  How far from the truth.

My perception of my father, though has changed.  I used to characterize him as a honest person.Honest people don't dessert their families.  I look at pictures of him with my half siblings and it makes me sad.  I look at pictures of him with the family I grew up with and think it's not fair.  I used to think I was a Daddy's girl.  But, I don't want to be that now, because it was at the expense of other children.  I know I have quite a ways to go to be forgiving, and I WILL get there with some time.  I know that he can receive the Lord's forgiveness, and I must forgive also. 

The youngest of the children, Kenneth, died in 1990 at the young age of 44.  I'm sad that I was not able to know him.  There are still two more brothers I would like to contact in the future somehow. 

Kenneth David, 1946-1990

I can't help but think about the timing of all this.  Six weeks after my mother died, and four weeks after my release from my family history mission.  Is my mom, helping with this somehow on the other side?  Is this just an incredible blessing for serving a mission?  I don't know, but I'm thrilled beyond belief to have this family in my life!


Jocelyn Christensen said...

What an incredible story! Long lost SISTERS, and brothers! Awesome!

Laurel said...


This is totally awesome! I have been looking at the pictures on fb and enjoying the family ties. What an amazing blessing.

hummer said...

What an amazing blessing. My heart goes out to you and your new found family. I have a friend who had a similar experience. She has been uplifted by her new siblings. Glad it is happening for you.

Sue said...

WOW, what a story! It would be difficult to see your own dad in a different light, but I know you will work it out in your heart:) You will be a blessing to your new found family members!

Anonymous said...

My name is Jerry Crowley
I am one of the Long lost brothers---I forgave my father a long time ago---And hope My Sister can do the Same---For it was for me that I forgave Him--Not for Him---Resentment is Re Sent and that is the Problem When Forgiveness Frees the Mind from that Hurt---

Cindy said...

Thank you for your comment Jerry. You are very wise. I look forward to meeting you. I have forgiven my father. You are right it is freeing.

Anonymous said...

Thank You for the return comment. Please send me your email address. We get wise from the Lords forgiveness. For it is so freeing. You have done a wonderful research project.

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