It all started Sunday.
My brother-in-law and his wife stopped over (and their two little lumps of doggy love). We made a great dinner and relaxed around our new fire pit. At one point ShankRabbit went to check on the kid (she was whiny) and it was just the three of us outside. My phone made a noise, notifying me of a new message on Facebook. Normally I wouldn't have looked at my phone while people were over, but my great uncle passed away on Friday and I figured it was one of my family members giving me details about the funeral*.
I received a friend request. At first glance, her name was not familiar, but had my maiden name as her last name**. She wrote a note with the request:
"Hi, I am your older half sister. I would love to get know you and your brother. I am older than you both. I have prayed for years to be united with you all and that is the primary reason I started my Facebook page. We can build a relationship independent of our father...".
My parents told me of possibly having a sister (my father's child with a different woman...before my mom came along), but at the time their words could not be trusted (substance abuse played a role in this distrust, among other things). Upon questioning other relatives, I was told that this was untrue. Many years passed...and so did the memory of this conversation.
Now I know that I really do have a half sister. Someone who I regret not knowing about sooner, but so happy she wasn't a part of my dark childhood.
"a relationship independent of our father..."
I know she knows.
After a few days and a stream of emails, I've gotten to know my sister.
Gosh, even saying "my sister" and not referring to an in-law or a friend is weird.
She has a 12 year old daughter (I'm an aunt?!) and a great career. She lives on the west coast.
I'm still processing this whole thing.
* - I'll save the story of my great uncle's funeral for another day. But I will tell you that this person is indeed my sister, as confirmed by my father who was in attendance.
** - She only put that (somewhat unique) last name so we'd recognize it as a possible family member.