Friday, March 11, 2011

Sad News and a re-post

Mom 2009

Mom and Dad 1997

I'm sorry I haven't posted much in the last 
couple of weeks.
My Step-Mom whom I have known nearly 
all my life took sick nearly two weeks ago
and sadly she passed away last Thursday evening.
My father passed away in 2000.

Needless to say this has been a tough time
for my family and myself
and so I haven't spent much time 
on my blog. 

In view of this 
I thought I would re-post 
this entry from a year ago.
I have a few more followers since
this was posted and so I thought 
I would take this opportunity
to post it again.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Maura :)

Being Found By My Sister

We meet for the first time.
My sister Janet and I Oct 91 (I'm on the right)

I was born in 1953, an only child. As I was growing up I often wondered what it would be like to have a brother or sister. I envied my friends who had siblings. Life was often lonely. My parents divorced when I was 7 and my father and I moved half way across the country to live with my Grandparents. At age 11 I was told I had a half brother but I never met him untl I was 17 and we never really got to know each other very well. I married and eventually had 5 children of my own. It was wonderful to see the kids all playing together and laughing but there were also times when they were bickering that I was glad I was an only child LOL! One day in Feb 1991 my brother recieved a letter from someone in England claiming to be a relative. They didn't mention me so I thought I'd write them and tell them about our side of the family. I'm a procrastinator and never got around to writing the letter. Then in our small town local newspaper in the letters to the editor...there it was...a letter looking for me! Another 2 weeks went by and I finally sent a letter off. About two weeks later when I was laying on my daughters bed as she was doing a poster project with her friend, my son came in carrying a letter he'd just gotten from the mailbox. It was this woman writing back. She mentioned England and family dating back to the 1600's but she still doesn't say how we're related. Finally a page and a half into the letter I read...''you asked how we are related, I don't know how to tell you this but I am your sister or half sister". I sat up and looked at my little daughter who was about 8 at the time and she and her friend were looking at me with thier mouths open. I couldn't believe what I was reading. I read it again and the tears started. I had a SISTER!!!! She was born in 1945. My father had been stationed in Surrey England before D Day and during that time he had met my future uncle and he had taken my dad home with him for a good home cooked meal. He met my mum and they 'dated' for a while. The story get's fuzzy here and it seems they went their separate ways and soon after that my dad found himself in France where he was wounded. I'm not sure how long he was in France before he went back to England or how long he was in the hospital but he ended up back in Surrey. One day he said he was walking down the road and a 2 ton troup truck honked and stopped beside him. It was my mum. It turns out my mum had had a baby girl while my dad was gone and under the advice of her mother had given the baby away for adoption. My mum told my dad it wasn't his. They ended up getting married in England and moving to my fathers homeland...Canada. The rest of my mum's immediate family moved to Canada too shortly after the war. My Sister was adopted by a loving older couple who couldn't have children. At the age of 5 her 'mum' was diagnosed with cancer and passed away shortly after that. Laws in England said that since there was no mother and her father was working that my sister would have to go to foster care. She was allowed to go home one weekend every two weeks. One day when she was older and finally living at home she decided to travel and wanted to get her passport so she went looking for her birth certificate. She didn't find it but she did find one in the attic for another child with her birthdate. It was then that she realized she was adopted....she never told he 'father'. Back then there was a stigma to being adopted and she was in a way...ashamed. Her friends tried to get her to find her family but she never tried. Her husband finally got her to search but she always hit a dead end. She could find the family all the way back to the 1600's and gathered lots of information but the family disappeared 'off the face of the earth' after WWII as she said. The family had attended the same village church for 400 years so she decided to send a letter to the parish magazine. She sent it in October. In December she came home to find a large envelope from a lady in contained pictures of our mother and grandparents along with other family photos. My sister couldn't believe it. She sat on the kitchen floor and cried as she looked at all the pictures. Sadly she also learned that her mother and grandmother had passed away a few years earlier. Finally in the letter she read that she had a brother and a sister. They knew where the brother was and had his address but they didn't know where I was. That's when she wrote the letter. It turns out that the lady who wrote her was our mothers best friend and her mother and aunt were good friends of our grandmother! She had known about mum having a baby and it being given up for adoption and when she read my sisters letter in the parish magazine she knew it must be this child. Thank heavens my sister wrote that letter!!! In October 1991 my sister and I met for the first time. It was the most emotional day of my life and one of the happiest...second only to having each of my children. When I finally saw her come around the corner at the airport and we got to hold each's a feeling that is hard to describe. I think for the first time in our lives we felt...complete. We were 'home'.


Catherine said...

IT's a very moving story.Where is your sister now? no too far from you? During the war lots of stories like yours happened in Normandy. People being separated, but you have been lucky to find the rest of your family, i think i understand what you mean by feeling complete. Without knowing, something was missing to you...Love Catherine

Celestial Charms said...

What a heart warming story. Thank God you finally were able to get together. Such an incredible series of events, but the ending so wonderful.

maurakeith said...

Hello Catherine and Maureen, so nice to see you here! Catherine my sister lives in England...a long way from Kansas. I have seen Jan 5 times since she found me in 91 but even though we have missed most of our lives together we make up for it with quality time. I haven't seen her since I went to England in 99...I think we're due for a visit don't you?! Maybe one day soon. Take care. Maura

Liz said...

All my life I have desired a sister. You are so lucky. Go see her in England. Do sister things!

I am enjoying your blog. My husband and I would love to have a little home on a piece of property somewhere. It is our dream to. I hope you will come by and say hi.


Twyla and Lindsey said...

Hello! I have just discovered your blog from Catherine's blog. I am so happy I did! Your stories are fascinating. I especially love your adventure of moving to the country and setting up a cozy cottage and love the story of your Shep finding you. It is a dream of mine to move to the country too, so I so look forward to read of your further adventures. Have a great week! Twyla

maurakeith said...

Hello Liz..nice to 'meet' you! I'm glad you're enjoying my blog...I'm having fun doing it but it's a real learning experience. I'm not very good with computer stuff unfortnately. I hope you keep working towards your dream of living in the country one day. I really believe that if a person keeps that thought and works towards will happen eventually. You might end up with something that needs some work but then it makes it even more special because you did made your imprint on it. We have so much work to do outside it's hard to know where to start but hey..we're having fun and that's all thats important. Hang in there! Have a great day.

Missouri Gal Nicole said...

Very touching Maura! I'm so glad you two found each other.

Sally said...

Now I have tears - what a heartwarming story of you and your sister. I can't really relate except that my daughter didn't meet her birth father until she was 27. We all have a story, don't we? I'm having fun looking at your blog! :)

Catherine said...

Thinking of you on those sad days.

Rural Revival said...

Maura, I am so sorry to hear of your step-mom's passing. I understand how this must be a very difficult time for your family right now. I'm sure you take great comfort in knowing that she and your dad are together again.

I remember reading this post about your sister last year and re-reading it again still made me cry again. What a beautiful story. I had several aunts and uncles that I never knew growing up, 6 of them! It was an overwhelming feeling to meet them all. Good but still strange and a bit of loss for all the years lost. I'm so glad you and your sister found each other.

Take care of yourself Maura. You'll know when it feels right to return to blogging and we'll be here. : )

Hugs ~Andrea~

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear of your step mother's passing. Wishing you comfort soon.
What an enthralling story - and the music to go with it.
With new technology maybe you can connect and video chat with your sister now and then.
My sister only lives one state away and we don't get to visit as often as I would like.

Kymberly Foster Seabolt said...

What a moving and wonderful story.

I too have a "bio blended family." I met my three half sisters after 36 years of living as an only child.

Thank you for sharing. I find myself (blessedly) often now having to explain to new friends how I can say "I was an only child" in one conversation and then mention "my sister" in another.

I look forward to following your gorgeous - and poignant - blog.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Dearest Maura,
I am just now catching up on blogs from this last week, and am so saddened to read of your step-mum's passing.
Such a great loss, her memories will always hold a special place in your heart, each day reach for them for comfort.
Hugs friend,

Rural Rambler said...

Maura I don't know how I missed this. I just read it in someone's comment on your new post. I am so sorry about your Step Mom.

I loved the story of you and your sister the first time I read it and I love it again this morning. It is a wonderful story of hope and family and love!

Anonymous said...

Maura, what a touching story. I wish you comfort and healing with the passing of your dear mom. May she rest in peace.

I wanted to let you know about a wonderful Antique Market that takes place in the spring and again in the fall. You may have already heard about it but I think from following your blog you would love it. It is this Sunday, March 20th from 10:00 to 4:00 at the Extension Center in Wichita, 21st Street and N Ridge RD. It is called Unique Antique and the booths are decorated so darn cute. Have a great week.

Liz @ Two Maids a Milking said...

So sorry about your loss. Your post about meeting your sister is just beautiful!

Verde Farm said...

Maura, I feel terrible. I somehow missed this post and visiting your blog tonight found it. I am so sorry about the loss of your step-mother and I know she meant a great deal to you. I read the story of your sister and how you came to meet. Oh my-those are the stories you read about. Oprah Winfrey just had a similar experience I believe. How wonderful that you found each other. Thank you for sharing this with us. My heart and prayers are with you and your family.
Sending you hugs and support from WV,


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