Above and Beyond and Then Some
If you have been following the blog recently, you know I’m on an epic trip celebrating my 70th birthday. My first stop was in Florida where I saw my old friends. I have just finished my second stop where I saw my birth mother and met three sisters for the first time. It was fabulous!
I have known that my three sisters existed for decades, but thanks to DNA testing and secrets finally being revealed, I had the opportunity to connect with them and finally, to meet them. It’s hard to even explain what it feels like. Such meetings don’t always go well. There may be no interest in meeting. There is even a possibility of hostility. But in my case, it couldn’t be more positive. I have been welcomed with open arms, love, and total acceptance. I am so happy and grateful.
Where so I start? We packed so much into a few days that it’s all a bit of a blur. I’ll try to write it down here so I don’t forget everything 😊
I arrived Monday afternoon and spent the evening at my mother’s house (she had graciously invited me to stay with her). We hadn’t seen each other for a long time, and even when we were together it was with family so having time for just the two of us was really special. We talked, went out to dinner, talked some more, watched a bit of TV, shared some wine, and talked some more.
Tuesday morning at the appointed time, two of my sisters arrived and the third wasn’t far behind them. I have been chatting with the youngest for a year and the others for maybe seven weeks, not long, But, immediately, it felt right with all of them. There were smiles and hugs and happiness all around! My mother had prepared a nice breakfast for everyone so we ate and sat around the table and talked, and talked, and talked. We had a short activity planned in the afternoon with the oldest, and then we were together again for a nice dinner at P F Changs. Someone 😁 spilled the beans about my birthday so there was a birthday card, and special dessert that we all shared, and a huge sparkler. Then we returned to the house were we talked until midnight! The sister who lived farther away stayed over and the others went home.
Wednesday was a day with the two closer sisters. We visited the youngest one’s home, and then the middle one’s home where we had lunch and hung out for the afternoon. They had created a get to know each other game with questions we would pull out and then go around the table with our answers. I was very impressed with that amount of thought they put into the questions. Then, my mother and the youngest sister said they had to go to Dollar Tree (huh??) so I spent the rest of the afternoon talking with my other sister and her husband.
We were planning to meet at a hamburger restaurant and I soon understood the trip to the Dollar Tree. They had a side room all set up for a birthday party with the balloons, streamers, decorations, a “birthday girl” button for me, a pretty tablecloth, plates, forks, an awesome chocolate cake, and really thoughtful presents! There were nieces and nephews and grandkids and we all had a great time. Then, we went back to my mother’s house and talked until late until mom kicked everyone out because we were all exhausted!
Thursday we visited the oldest sister who lived a couple hours away. The other two sisters and my mother talked all the way to and from her house, and we had another great afternoon at the other sister’s house. She had prepared a huge spread of food, and had crafts and games for us on the dining room table. We hung out and talked and ate and played until it was time for a facials appointment. By then it was late afternoon and time to head home for our last evening. We didn’t make it such a late evening since one was leaving the next morning on vacation, the other had to work early in the morning, and I had a flight to catch. My mother and I shared some wine after they left and talked for a couple more hours until we were too tired and headed to bed.
The visit was quite a whirlwind! But, it was no time at all before we felt very comfortable with each other. It was an odd feeling to make the transition from figments in my imagination, to words in an email, and then to real people. And, they are so very real! They are people with all the usual concerns, and families with memories made over the years, and just normal stuff of life. I don’t think we look a lot like each other but there are definite similarities especially in the eyes and nose areas. (I don’t have permission to post pictures yet). We are different in lifestyle and personalities, but we also found many things in common. I usually don’t get jokes, and rarely appreciate comediennes and funny movies. They are the same! We all battle our weight. We are all in long term marriages and have 2-3 children.
I was so impressed and touched by the amount of care they put into planning my visit. They really wanted me to enjoy my time with them. Yes I’ll definitely be back, oh yes for sure! My mother is 88 and more frail than she used to be, so I want to see more of her sooner rather than later as well. You never know what tomorrow will bring for any of us.
My favorite moment – our mother gave each of us a bank envelope with a bit of spending money. Mom no, you don’t need to do this. “Don’t argue with your mother!”
(“Mom” came more easily to my lips each day) I learned I was born in a bathtub. Who knew this was a thing in 1952?
Thanks for following along. This is definitely a “write it down before I forget everything” post. There was just so much packed into a few days in the midst of a lot of emotions and feelings. I left two days ago so I’m settling down a bit now, but it’s still a lot. I’m really happy and looking forward to more time together.
Next, Seattle, time with my younger daughter and family, 4th birthday for the youngest granddaughter, and fun times. Then California, Dallas, and home. I’m taking it one step at a time.