22 August 2010

Happiness is a family reunion...............

This has been the most amazing and joyous week I have had in a long time.

My older sister and I were reunited with our youngest sister, Carla, who I last saw over 40 years ago. I am still totally bowled over and cannot quite believe this has happened.

It seems inconceivable that we were separated for so long, but unfortunately we were.

How does something like this arise? I will give the expurgated and abridged version, because these situations don't just happen, they are the result of many choices, events and circumstances. This one had its origins in my parents broken marriage and the different paths their lives and mine took, over the years that followed.

There is a 14 year age gap between me and Carla. I first met her when she was three years old in 1969 and we hit it off quite well. Events overtook us shortly after that meeting, as I moved to another country and to another life, with my mother and step father. When I returned to South Africa in 1977, I  made contact with my father, and up until he died in 1989 we kept contact, through correspondence and telephone calls, but we never saw each other again.

In all those years I never spoke to Carla, but dad told me what was happening in her life and about her marriage. It seemed to me that our lives had really gone their separate ways, especially after dad died in 1989.  I often wondered about Carla and how I could contact her. I also wondered what her reaction to me would be if I ever found her. Would she even want to know me?

When the internet came into its own, I did some searches for her over the years, using Google and various other sites but they were all in vain.

Then in October last year I received a whole lot of digital family photos, which included one of a little girl I recognised as my long lost sister. It was a quite a wrench and it got me wondering about my her and the fact that I had not been a part of her life. It also renewed my desire to find her and it prompted a few more internet searches for her, but again without success. The last one I did was on 10 July 2010.


Unbeknown to me, Carla was also on a quest to find her long lost brother and sister and she was succesful through Facebook.

Imagine my surprise when, on 17 August 2010, I received a Facebook friend request, from the very person I was trying to find. I was totally blown away. I accepted the request and promptly went to her Facebook page, where I looked at her collection of family photos. I then sent her an email to which she responded and soon thereafter we had our first telephone chat.

Carla did confess that she was also afraid about how her two siblings would react to her request and was delighted that we both responded positively. She had the same concerns about rejection that had crossed my mind so many times in the past. She has also spent her whole life wanting to know her older brother and sister. That just breaks my heart.

To all intents and purposes we are strangers. We have had different upbringings and lead different lives, but the one thing we have in common is that we are family and that can never be taken away. I now fully understand what is meant by that old adage, "blood is thicker than water."

We have been reunited as brother and sister and though we can never get back the lost years, we can and will certainly make the most of the years ahead.

11 comments:

Naquillity said...

how wonderful this news is Max. i'm so pleased to hear you've been able to reconnect with your sister. but, i'm sorry you've all had to endure so many years apart. that had to be difficult. having each other now should keep smiles on your faces for many years to come. no more empty hearts or sadness, :)

Rose said...

Oh my....tears in the eyes here. What a wonderful thing to happen....I certainly hope you all get to make up for lost time.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

This has to be one of the most wonderful stories I have read for a long time Max!! How fantastic that you have managed to get together again!! I am sure you have lots and lots to chat about and catch up on.

Diane said...

How exciting and wonderful for you! Don't fret over the past, because you can't change it--but do make the most of the present and the future! Enjoy!

katney said...

That is wonderful, Max. Something similar happened for my sister-in-law. Her mother had walked out of her life when she was five years old, taking her little brother. She and her sister were reunited with him many years later. Knowing how precious and wonderful this was for her, I can understand how you feel.

Firefly said...

These are the kind of stories movies are made of.

Max-e said...

Hi all, thanks for the comments. This has been a really awesome experience. The thing now is to stop looking backwards and move forward.

Tint said...

My heart goes out to all of you. I have just recently reunited with my two brothers after more than 20 years of not knowing where they were. It's an indescribable feeling!

Anna said...

Oh Max-e I was just about to leave your blog, and something made me to look at one more post... This is the most beautiful story told, and I am so happy for you. Beautiful again ... I guess facebook is good for something too, lol. Anna :)

indicaspecies said...

Just wonderful! All the best for a happy future together.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Max, I have tears on my eyes... what a moving story! I am so happy for you!

I just was looking around your posts when I see this lovely photo, a beautiful girl with flowers in her hands...

All the happiness to you and to your sisters!