Maggie’s post about her sister has gotten me thinking … Today is my grandmother’s birthday, and marks almost exactly five years since her death. Today she would have been 104 or 106 (depending on whose data you trust). She is my paternal grandmother, the one I most resemble — my round face and long-fingered hands, my slow temper, my bridgeless nose. She is the one who spent the most time looking for her first grandchild, my father’s daughter, the older sister who is lost to me somewhere in the world.
My father never spoke about his first child. I only know she exists because my mother told me about her. I can’t think how that could have come up in casual conversation. There must have been some reason she told me. I’ll have to ask her.
I wish I could ask my father about her, about what he felt and thought when she was removed from his life, when his ex-wife took their daughter away. My grandmother was convinced the ex-wife told her daughter that her father was dead. And I guess that could certainly explain why she never came looking for us.
I’ve always wanted to meet her, my secret sister. When I was younger it was more about curiosity. Now it’s about family, about feeling incomplete … and it’s about my grandmother.
Keeping our family connected was important to my grandmother. Finding my half sister was important to her. She had three grandchildren, and she loved us fiercely, but having a void where a fourth child should have been was hard for her.
I’ve never tried to find her … but I’m suddenly thinking I should …