A year ago last Thanksgiving weekend, I received a friend request from a stranger, one who lived in California! Her name was Rosemary, I checked and we had two friends in common, I asked one of those friends about her, but couldn’t figure out a connection, so did what I always do when I receive a friend request from someone I don’t recognize. I wrote back and said, “I’ve received a friend request from you, can you refresh my memory as to how we know each other, thanks.” The response, which was almost instantaneous, was the following:
This is very difficult to write, but I think you & I are half sisters… I’ve known this for several years now & have followed you & the rest of your family on FB , wanting to reach out to you. After watching your video “ What’s growing in God’s garden “ , I felt like it was a “sign” ,for me to reach out to you. Hoping this doesn’t shock you & that we maybe able to speak .. Happy Thanksgiving..
While I wasn’t totally shocked, since for most of us in the family, it was an unspoken secret that my Dad had fathered a child before he met my mother, who knew about it, but we knew nothing more than that. Rosemary sent me her phone number, and while I was prepared to continue our Facebook chat, I was not ready to have a conversation with her! In fact, I went for a walk! The best way I know how to process things. But when I came back… we chatted some more over Facebook Messenger. We made arrangements to video chat later in the week. In the meantime, I let my siblings and mother know that she had been in contact with me. Our father died from complications of throat cancer in 2014.
We kept in touch over the year, sharing pieces of our respective lives, she had been adopted as a baby, grew up in NS, trained as a nurse and then been recruited to the USA and had lived there ever since, but came back to NS once a year to visit her parents and siblings. Covid had prevented that on and then this past fall, she wrote to tell me she was coming to NS for a visit. After speaking with my siblings, we arranged for a potluck supper for all of us along with our spouses.
I planned the conversation carefully, thank you Priya Parker and The Art of Gathering! Rosemary of course was interested in what we could tell her about out father. Around the table we went, sharing a good memory or something we appreciated about him, and something that drove us crazy! There was laughter and a few tears in the sharing and as Rosemary shared some of her story and of course pictures of grandchildren!
Families are never static, they are always changing: people marry and divorce, babies are born, grown up and bring others into the family, people die, others come into your life in unexpected and surprising ways. Love isn’t pie, with only an finite serving, it’s PI: 3:14… ever expanding.
And that’s my window on God’s world.
Photo – L-R: Rosemary, Shelley, Kevin, me, Patricia, seated: Sharon .
One thought on “Families!”
Thankful for the slow process in arriving at the first gathering and your careful attention to that gathering.