The family reunion that was never meant to be...

I've raved about how this blog has helped me make new friends.

And I've mentioned how thankful I am to Facebook for helping me reunite with old friends and family members whom I hadn't seen in years. 

But there's one family reunion that I still hope will happen someday. 

My grandparents, who raised me, loved me more than anybody possibly could, but I always felt like something was missing.  I wanted to be like most of my friends who had both their parents in their lives along with grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.  I had plenty of family on my mom and Gramm's side, but none on my dad's. 

I always wondered what they were like and if they ever thought of me.

So when we finally got internet service, one of the first things I typed into the Google search box was my dad's name.

Google came up with thousands of results, but none were what I was looking for.  Not one to be easily discouraged, I vowed to keep searching.

Two or three times a year, I would conduct the same search, always with the same result. 

In June of last year, just before my dad's birthday, I decided to try to search for my dad on Facebook.  500 million people in the world use Facebook and I hoped that maybe my dad was one of them.

But I didn't find him.

What I did find was a gentleman with the same name, whom I was sure was my paternal grandfather.  I sent him a friend request and included a short message about who I was and asking him if he was the person I was searching for.

He never responded.

So, I turned to Google. 

Again, I found my grandfather.  Sadly, it was his obituary.  He succumbed to cancer in May of 2010.

I was devastated on so many levels.

I hated that I had to learn through Google of his passing.  I mourned for the man I had only met on a couple of occasions.  And my heart ached because I had never been given the chance to get to know my grandfather and be a part of his life.

The obituary mentioned the names of his survivors: his wife, children and grandchildren.  All but one.  My name was nowhere to be found.  I didn't expect it to be, but a part of me hoped that they remembered me.  The obituary linked to a memorial page that included a slide show of old family photographs, including this one of me and my grandfather.


Again, I cried.  I didn't have any pictures of my grandparents and only a handful of photographs of my dad.  To be staring at a picture of me and my grandfather on my computer screen was so surreal.  Suddenly, I was filled with hope that maybe they did remember me. 

I signed the memorial page guest book and included all of my contact information.  And then I waited.  I waited for days, weeks and months for a response that never came.

Not content to just sit on the sidelines waiting for an answer, I turned yet again to Facebook.  Only this time, I was armed with the list of names from Grandpa's obituary.  I sent friend requests and messages to my dad's sister, my grandmother and one of my cousins.

I hoped and prayed that I would finally be reunited with my family. 

Everyday, I watch how Hubby's family interacts with eachother: the laughter, the happiness, the love.  I am blessed to have married into such an amazing family.  I wish I had the same thing with my family.

Months have passed and still no word from anyone.  And it hurts.  They probably don't want anything to do with me.  That's why I haven't heard from them.  But then there's that optimistic, Pollyanna part of me that thinks that maybe they haven't read the messages or seen the friend requests.  I know I've overlooked a couple. 

It's that same optimistic part of me, that paid a couple of bucks to one of those online people searches for my dad's email address.  I know.  I know.  Not one of my best ideas, but I had to try.

I sent a short message, to what I believed to be my dad's email address.  In the email, I asked that whoever received the email to let me know if they were or weren't the person I was looking for.

Again.  No response.

Atleast not at first.  I've received a number of emails from that email address.  Just not the response I hoped for.  All I get is a bunch of links to junk like insurance and medicine.

A cruel and frustrating blow.

That's when I finally realized I should just give up.  I've done all I can do.  If they don't want anything to do with me, then it's their loss.

But wait.  You didn't really think that I was going to give up that easily, did you? 

While the emails I get from my dad's supposed email address are filled with useless spam links, I noticed something at the top of each message.  They aren't only addressed to me.  Each one is addressed to my aunt and a number of relatives. 

WHAT THE HECK???!!!


I thought about it for awhile and decided to give it one more try.  So, earlier this week, I sent a message to my aunt's email address. 

I haven't heard from her.  Probably never will.  And that's okay.

I will always wonder about them.  Wonder if they ever think of me. 

I've really done all that I can.  Now it's up to them. 

I do feel kind of bad for them because they will never get to know what a wonderful person I turned out to be.


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23 comments:

  1. I know that feeling of somethings missing, Im sure one day when the moment presents itself you will be reunited with your family. im sorry that you missed seeing your grandfather before he passed. I read that part of your post and thought I know exactly what shes feeling!! I recently found out that my grandmother on my fathers side passed away on Christmas day, and through Facebook non the less, I have only met her once and I was just a few months old. I did speak to her on the phone one other time, but really all i did was cry because I couldnt belive I was talking to her......keep searching!

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  2. I'm so sorry to hear that, Leslie.

    Even if you don't hear from them, you have one of the most awesome families I've seen. Your kids and your husband are incredible.

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  3. The most important thing Leslie, is that you have YOUR family with your husband, children and the rest of your husband's family. Life is hard and sometimes we need to just concentrate on the immediate family. If things were meant to be, they will be. For now I send you a hug. Take care.

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  4. Wow...I'm very sorry for the family struggles you have been (are going) through. I can imagine the pain of no response. But I'm optimistic for your life's journey. You are one of the few who can so artfully create something positive and put it towards good. Hugs to you, amiga. You are amazing. :-)

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  5. I think that any response that I could give you wouldn't do your post justice. I'm so happy you have a picture, and I hope someday, someone from that side of your family will at least acknowledge you.

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  6. I am glad you found the photo; but I feel so sad for you. On the other hand they have no idea what a wonderful person they are missing out on knowing and also missing out on knowing and loving your children. I know it is no comfort to you; but they are the losers not you.
    I am glad you have the feeling of family and love from your husbands family. Good for them.
    Take care.

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  7. Isn't it heart-breaking? To think they'll never see or get to know your children... I'm so sorry and so sad for you (and them). Sometimes people don't know a good thing, even when it's written to them.

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  8. Leslie I agree its so sad that are losing out on knowing such an amazing person. I hope one day they do realize they have been overlooking your emails and request and that they reply. If not hey look at the bright side you have done great with out them and you have such a loving family already of your own. Best to you!

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  9. No, no, no! I don't want it to end this way! So sorry to hear this...

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  10. Wow we could be sister from a different mother. I am sometimes long winded and other times I give unsolicited comments/advise. You did mention paying for a name search, but you said nothing about Church of the Later Day Saints, they record every birth that happens in the US, but the info is only available if the person is deceased. On the other hand, if you do a search on their database, if will bring up any information on a person and the best or worst part is if the person is deceased it will show you their SSN, DOB and Date of Death on the person. The more info you have on a person the better the search is. You probably don’t get or don’t have time to watch Oprah, but to let you know there is hope, after 40+ years she found out and met her half sister. So all is not lost, keep looking and remember if it does not happen it is so their loss!!!!!! Good Luck

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  11. Aww, what a sad story. I so feel for you. You are right though. They are the ones missing out on having you in their lives. You have tried so hard and put yourself and your feelings out there with nothing but hope. One day, they will realize what they're missing:)

    Visiting you via Mama Kat's. Come and see me sometime!

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  12. Hi Leslie, I have heard of many successful reunions on facebook. Maybe starting a new group? Best wishes .

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  13. Sorry you haven't heard back from anyone. It must be hard, but things happen for a reason.

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  14. Hi Leslie, I'm sorry you're having this painful experience. I can't help but wonder tho, ALL those emails and attempts to contact and not ONE single response? And after ALL that time. Doesn't sound right. Maybe there is something else going on.
    Wallow in all the love you are blessed to have at home.
    Sweet, if not poignant, post. You are loved in spite of those few blood relatives, ya' know!

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  15. i can't imagine how that must feel. You are absolutely right - it is THEIR loss. i hope they do come to their senses soon. Your family is lovely and they are missing out.

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  16. I can only imagine how hard it was for you to reach out to these people.. and it's really sad that they won't answer you back. But, you are right that you have a beautiful family and beautiful children and wonderful in-laws!

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  17. I too have missing family. I have an older half sister and I hope some day to hear from her. My father and my mother only know she was adopted. I hope she is willing to look. I don't think my siblings feel the same way. I think it may be important to share family history, especially the medical part. I have wonderful memories like you of my grandparents who were my best friends. I hope my half sister had the same experience of love and family. Whatever the case, I count my blessings for the family that I do have. I do hope if you find someone, they are deserving of having you in their life. You are a kind hearted, wonderful person.

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  18. Leslie, don't give up hope and never stop looking

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  19. Was there some kind of acrimony between your parents and his family? You may have posted it before but I've not read it. I agree with Trailrunner...it's odd that out of all the people you've contacted, not one has responded.

    I'm so sorry for your heartache.

    btw...you have your grandpa's eyes.

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  20. I hope that one day you are able to find your sister. Hugs to you! :)

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  21. Leslie, you wrote a poignant tale. A story of a hole in your heart. Know you are deeply loved by many, even your true Father. My father on earth disappointed on many levels. He was in our home, but he never wanted me. He even told me so many times. I was a big disappointment because I was born a girl. Not the boy he envisioned. I have learned that my earthly father missed knowing me as a good person. God said when he made man and woman, it is good. We are made in His image, whether or not our earthly parents choose to acknowledge us.

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  22. This brought tears to my eyes. Just remember you have your family now and your kids who will stick with you forever!

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  23. I was reading today's blog post about Mi Mexico and saw this one listed as "one you might like" and man...I am glad I read it. My heart aches for you, but I just wanted to say thank you for opening your heart and letting us in to read about your struggle to find your paternal family.

    Big hugs girl!!! Praying one day you will be able to connect with some of those people!

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