My sister joined Facebook recently. Generally speaking, that isn’t worthy of a mention, but in this instance, a chain of events was set off that has quite honestly changed my life. I’m not one for lofty exaggerations (except in jest), either, internets. It really did.
Before I tell you what happened, I should preface it a bit. I have two sisters; one older, one younger. Since we all grew up and left the nest we have all gone about our business in our separate ways. We didn’t dislike each other, we just were busy leading our own lives and rarely made time to be around each other aside from xmas gatherings. I’m 29 now, and starting a month or two ago, I decided to stop being such a recluse and try to be more active in the little family I have. I visited Nicki at her house and talk to her via text pretty frequently, and even reached out to Helen, who I hadn’t spoken to really since my mothers funeral two years ago.
This is not an entry meant to go on and on about what an awesome person I am and how it’s great I’m taking the initiative to be sisterly again. Not at all.
So again, my sister joined Facebook the other day. She gets a friend request (or a PM, I can’t remember) from a Michael R. in Utah.
That’s my brother, people.
When my sisters and I were younger (Nicki 10, me 6, Helen 2), we lived with our parents, and our brother Michael. Due to a bunch of drama that I’m not comfortable sharing in such a public forum, we were separated from him. He was placed in foster care, at the age of 11. That’s the last I have heard from him since then. It’s been over 20 years. What little we remembered of him we kept close to our hearts, because our parents wouldn’t talk about the situation. None of us blamed him for not contacting us – what he went through is not something I would be able to get over in a set amount of time. None of us hold a grudge, but we all secretly hoped that one day, we’d see him again.
Fast forward to this morning when Helen gets the friend request. She’s the only one who still has her maiden name so that’s why he finds her first. I immediately go out and find him and friend him and send his info to my older sister Nicki.
He is reaching out to us! He wants to talk to us! I cannot even fathom being in his shoes and going through what he did, but he has finally found away around the pain and wants to talk to us! I felt so jittery, and excited at the same time.
He made an effort to call each one of us today and talk.
I had forgotten SO MUCH, internet. I should be ashamed at how much I’ve forgotten, but more important than that is that connection, made again. I was so nervous when he said he was going to call. What in the hell was I going to say to my brother, who I hadn’t been able to talk to for so long? What words could bridge that gap?
Just hearing his voice put me in tears. I’m still in tears as I type this, but I want to get this out before any of the emotion is gone.
20 years in 20 minutes on the phone. I have a big brother again, even if he does live far away. I don’t know how to process this information, and I don’t know that I’ll be able to sleep tonight. None of that matters, because slowly, my siblings and I are finding a way to be family again.
Nicki, Michael, Helen – I love you all.