Well, all I can say is “that was fast.” About a week ago I blogged about some of my family’s secrets. Hidden in the blog post was a quip about my mother’s biological “half” brother that was out there somewhere. We had no last name, no exact birth date, no connection (on paper) to her birthfather and pretty much nothing to go on to possibly find him.
Writing about my mother’s birthfather stirred a renewed interest in me to search, once again, for my mother’s brother. And that’s what I decided to do. I tried everything you could think of, for days, and then decided to give up. Until today. My Aunt, out of the blue, remembered his last name. It was all uphill from there. Within hours I had found him. Upon pulling up his Facebook profile I knew. I looked at the picture and knew he was my family, my uncle. I knew he was my mother’s brother. I messaged my mom with a link to the profile and wrote, “I found him.” She was driving so didn’t get it right away. I wasn’t sure if I should friend request him or not. Even though this was my uncle, I wanted to let my mom take the lead. I waited a few minutes and called her. I told her I had found him and to check her messages for a link to the profile. She gave me the go ahead to friend request him and message him. I did both and even paid the $1 to Facebook so it would go into his inbox and not his “other” folder. I also friend requested his girlfriend (who he had listed as his spouse on Facebook) as a back up. My mom did the same. His girlfriend was the first to accept my request. So I messaged her right away. It took an hour for her to accept but it felt like days. I told her who I was, who I was looking for, and how I had come to find her profile. I saw that she had “seen” the message and about 20 minutes transpired. I was terrified that maybe a rejection would follow and that is why she was taking so long to reply. And then she did. She told me that my uncle would write to me and to friend request him on Facebook. I told her I already had. I told her that I had always known about him, I told her that our family loved him and missed him. A little while later I received a message from him. It said, “Hello J, I am glad to meet you……. I didn’t know you existed an that’s a real shame about our family.” He was glad to meet me! (albeit through Facebook). He also wrote my mother. My mother messaged me and said, “I saw his picture and I loved him.” It was beautiful. And everyone was overjoyed. He was glad to be found. He always wondered where his family was. He looked for them in crowds. He said we all looked alike! And he said we need to meet as soon as we can. No more time wasted.
My mom got the opportunity to talk to him on the phone. He is doing well and he is okay. Awesome. We live a couple states away but we are going to plan a visit. He may come up to us and is really looking forward to it. My mom got to talk to her brother. How awesome is that? I am still trying to wrap my head around that. It’s so exciting, yet sad at the same time. Sad for years lost. Happy to be found again.
I hope that my birth-grandfather is smiling down. I hope that he can see how what was lost was found. I hope that this can bring things full circle and that peace and healing will come with it. Regardless of the sins of my grandfather, he is the common link that binds us together as family. There is so much I want to ask my uncle. So much I want to see. Does he have the same mannerisms as us? Does he sing like my mom and daughter? Is he musically talented at all? Is he a little firecracker like my mom? In good time my questions will be answered. For now I have peace. The puzzle is complete and I didn’t find a grave like so many others before me. My prayers were answered and I thank God for that.