One day, my Dad called me with what seemed, at first, to be a disturbing revelation. “Hey Baby Girl, some dude in Atlanta called saying he was your Brother. I need you to check it out.”
My first reaction/response: “How old is he, Dad?” You see, my Sister and I were in our 20s and early 30s at the time, so his answer needed to indicate a time of birth that did not conflict with the timing of our family. Otherwise, I wasn’t about to have too much more to say to my Dad.
“He’s older than you and your Sister. He was born before your Mother and I even met.”
And with that, I had the strength to make the call.
I called my Brother on a Thursday while I was still at work. I had no idea what to tell him, so I started the drill about who his people were, who was still alive and stuff like that. We agreed to see each other that weekend. But, I flaked, and conveniently “forgot” to call. His wife called me the next week to see what happened. I can’t even remember at this point what I said, but somehow it proved adequate enough, and we made a date to hook up the following weekend.
We got into some normal chit chat about life in general, goals and such. I was at a point when I was ready to leave my job at the time. We were also at a point in the conversation when I realized that my Sister-in-Law’s name and voice started sounding way too familiar.
We go on and on about work, and finally I say something that makes her respond, “That’s exactly how I felt when I worked in the Mayor’s Office.” And then it hit me…I also worked in the Mayor’s Office…and I had known my Sister-in-Law by her maiden name for more than five years. This world is just too small.
In fact, during the time of our joint employment, I had commented on the wedding photo in her office (she had just gotten married then), saying how handsome her husband was. She had also passed by my area and noticed the picture of Dad on my desk. She said the same thing about him. Little did we know at the time that, one day, we’d be hooking up to meet as a family.
The two of them told me all about the process of finding Dad. My Brother’s stepfather, who had raised him, died about a year before they started looking for Dad. My Brother had always assumed that his real father was some bum living in his hometown that just dumped his mother after finding out that she was pregnant.