Have you ever lost anything in a store, on a plane, at a concert, at church or even at home? I’ve left books on air planes, lost small items at church and lost any number of things at home. With the exception of our homes, once we realize we’ve lost something, we usually check with the lost and found. Sometimes our items are safely stored in the lost and found; sometimes they are never seen again. So, what happens when we lose people? I know we don’t actually lose people, but we often lose contact with them.
The picture above, of my sister Harriet and her children, is probably from the 1970’s. Back in the mid 1990’s I lost contact with my half-sister and brothers – Harriet, Raymond, Larry and Phillip. In 1994 when my family moved from Delaware to Georgia, we lost a lot of files and paperwork. This was before cell phones, Facebook and Twitter and the internet was still in its infancy. Without common friends and relatives, finding people was not an easy task.
When I first started looking for Harriet, I tried telephone numbers that I had in some old-school address books. I called phone numbers that I had for Harriet, Phillip and my dad’s first wife, Miss Elizabeth. I sent letters to the last addresses that I had and all I got was nothing, nothing, nothing!
To complicate matters, my father had a third set of children, one of whom I had never met. All I knew about them was their names – Tina and George. I met George briefly when he was about 5 or 6 years old. I had an idea of their ages and I remembered their mother’s name was Barbara, but I didn’t have any common friends, addresses or phone numbers. Needless to say, I had absolutely no idea how to find them.
Over the years, I conducted many internet searches and was unsuccessful. Finally, on June 7, 2016, I did another internet search. Again, I found some information on Harriet, all of which was old – old phone numbers and old addresses. This time, I decided to expand my search to her children. I found disconnected phone numbers and old addresses, but my search led to an entry that said my nephew Thaine had presence on social media. Jackpot! I headed straight to Facebook.
Facebook can be a massive time suck or a gold mine of information. In one day, I went from having no information on my siblings to finding all of them. Unfortunately, my brother Larry had passed away and so had Miss Elizabeth.
So far, contact with my siblings has been Facebook, text messages, and phone conversations. I’m looking forward to a trip to Philly so I can reconnect with Harriet and Phillip and connect with Tina and George. I’ve also connected with my brother Raymond who moved away from Philly.
My search too over twenty years but it finally paid off. I’m so glad that I kept searching and didn’t give up.