Last week, I had the chance to introduce Miranda to more family. Her aunt and her cousin. Well, step-aunt and step-cousin. I know. It's complicated.
My mom and her dad married when I was in middle school. Every 3rd weekend for our teenage years, we spent sharing a bedroom. We had similar likes and interests and bonded over high school theater and They Might Be Giants and everything between. She was the closest thing I had to a sister.
Shortly after college, her dad and my mom split up. We tried to keep in touch but it was too hard. She felt remorse for things our of her control and I was probably a little bitter. We were old enough to know the split was not our faults but young enough to think we had any control over the situation.
Years went by and we would once and a while try to track each other down. It was still too hard and often too raw. I found her one brother on Facebook and we reconnected that way. But that was about it.
Apparently as the time passed, she had looked me up from time to time. She knew when my brother got married. Then she knew when my other brother got married. She knew I met someone. She knew I got married.
Then one day out of the blue, she Googled me and this came up:http://facesofloss.com/2011/06/2047.html She was stunned. Shocked and sad and filled with grief. Here I was going through the most painful time in my life and she had no way to reach out to me. So she sent me an email and tried to reconnect.
From June 2011 till now, we became pen pals. We lived less than an hour away, but email was easier. She followed my blog and after any monumental post, she would send me a note to let me know she was thinking of me. When we had a fundraiser last year to help with the adoption costs, she donated money. She asked if we could meet. I was not ready.
And then I was. One day I just was. So we set it up. We had to postpone our first meeting due to the weather but last week, we finally met up. And it was like no time had passed at all.
With her 10 week old son on her lap and Allie's sister in the high chair next to me, we sat and talked for hours. We talked about our families and our pasts and our present. We relived old stories and laughed and shed a few tears, too. The time was finally right and it was so amazing.
We parted with a "bye for now"...no way are we going to let the years get in the way again. Within the next month or so, we want to find a time to have more of our family reunite - this time with her older daughter and husband, too. And she wants to meet Gary. And she she wants to see my mom. And my brothers. And I want Ella and Summer to meet their step-cousins. I cannot wait.
So what is the lesson here? Family are the friends you can't choose and yet if I could, I would choose her all over again. No matter what happened before and what will happen in the future, I feel lucky that there is someone on my side just because. Someone who will love my daughter just because. It's a great feeling to reconnect. Reunited and it feels so good!!!