I am sorry that we never got to be sisters.
It has been three years since we last had any sort of contact. The way our last conversation ended left me reeling and confused. To this day it feels like I was talking to a different person.
When you made contact with the family 16 years ago, I was over the moon. My big sister had found us. I was told about you when I was five years old. My father’s daughter from a brief relationship that took place two years before our father met my mother.
We had no contact growing up. You were raised by your grandparents after your own mother became ill. These lovely grandparents of yours blocked all access to you, we never got to spend one day with together.
Our father was denied any contact with you. Knowing him as the father he was, this would have broken his heart.
You were 15 years old, I was 9 and our brother was only 9 months old when our father passed away. Although taken from us early, my memories of him are strong. He was a warm, loving man with a wicked sense of humour, always ready with a dirty joke to amuse his mates and horrify my mother. He loved to hunt and shoot and fish and would do anything for the little guy. A loveable rogue.
We were lucky enough to be surrounded by a multitude of Aunts and Uncles and cousins who did their best to tell us stories of Bobby, so our brother and I knew him as a person as well as a father. The tales they told didn’t always show Dad in a good light, but they were told with love and fondness that you could tell they weren’t just telling them because he passed away, they were telling them because they were true.
You had to wait until you were an adult before you could make contact with us. You endured years of being told that our father wanted nothing to do with you, that you were an embarrassment to him. He had a family now, why would he want anything to do with you. This was ingrained in you and sent your sense of self-worth crashing through the floor.
Honestly it makes me so angry because it ultimately meant that our sisterly relationship never took flight.
In the past 16 years we only met in person one time. I was struck by how alike we seemed. You were taller than me (not saying much, you are all of 5 ft 2), same brown eyes, same body shape, same curly hair although yours is darker. The bit that shook me the most, you have our father’s smile. I hadn’t seen that smile in over 20 years.
I was so happy to learn you had two kids, at least someone was keeping the bloodline going. Your son looks just like our brother only with red hair. Your daughthas the Morris physique, which basically means she looks like Mrs Potts from Beauty and the Beast.
But like I said , we never really got going did we?
We wrote to eacher other a few times send Christmas cards and make the occasional phone call. But no real connection.
I had to keep reminding myself that the fact we had any contact at all was nothing short of miraculous. But I felt ripped off.
Aren’t sisters supposed to be close? Aren’t we supposed to do girly things like swap clothes? Have some sort of sister code?
We never got to do any of that.
Cut to the last time we had a conversation. Actually conversation is generous, our last point of contact was a stupid, impersonal facebook chat.
I saw you were online and thought I would say “Hi”. Silence from your end for what seemed ages. The suddenly, from out of nowhere, you wrote back. “I’m sorry, I just can’t’ believe your father ever wanted me, he never tried to find me”.
I wrote back that he would have loved you very much and I as your sister loved you very much. “I don’t know that…..I hate you and I hate your father”.
The air sucked out of the room. I couldn’t breath. This wasn’t you at all. To this day I don’t fully understand it.
I tried calling you immediately, your phone was already switched off. You never returned those calls.
I tried writing you letters, but they remain unanswered.
The truth of the matter is this J, I don’t really what life was like for you growing up the way you did, and you don’t know what life was like for our brother and me. I don’t know what you were told by grandparent or their reasons for telling you those poisonous things
The one person who could tell us what his real feelings for you were has been dead for 30 years and can’t answer us.
All I do know for sure is this, you, our brother and I are the children of Bobby who passed away at a very young 38 years of age. All three of Bobby’s children were robbed of a relationship with him.
There is nothing we can do to change that. All we have is this exact moment.
It is never too late to late to make a new start. I hope you will understand that one day.
I love you J
Your little sister