The Importance of Truth
On my recent UK trip, a momentous event happened in my life – I met my sister for the first time,
after years of waiting for the right time!
I thought this would be a simple and straightforward post, but it has proved to be rather complicated, requiring more background information than I intended to share initially, but necessary I think, in order to help you understand the chain of events.
Having struggled for the past few weeks trying to put this sensitive post together, and in order not to hurt anyone’s feelings, I feel I have now done it justice. I hope my family feel the same should they read it.
I believe there is nothing like the truth; I feel so strongly about it, because the truth in my case (once it was revealed) has blessed and enriched my life in more ways than I would have ever thought possible.
I Find My Father at the Age of 29
All families have secrets, and mine is no exception. I grew up not knowing who my father was – nothing unusual in that I hear you say, but in my case, it has had far reaching effects for my family for over 50 years. The truth has a way of coming out, given time.
All I knew about my dad was his name and that he lived in the same town where I was born, and that he was a piper in the Scottish Black Watch Regiment. But I was determined to find him, I needed to meet him and find my roots.
After years of making inquiries and coming up against brick walls time after time, I finally did it! I was 29.
When I made contact, he was shocked to say the least, but ecstatic that I’d found him. We talked about the past, my mother and how I came to be. I was enthralled listening to him – he answered questions I’d wondered about for years about him and my mother. We talked about how attitudes were so different back then – unmentionable stuff like having a baby out of wedlock or being adopted, tended to be shoved under the carpet and never talked about – my very birth and existence being one of those “unmentionables”.
He told me that I had a half-brother and sister! Wow! I knew he had a son, because my mother had volunteered that piece of information when I told her I’d found my dad. In fact, when we were kids, that little boy and I were best friends, neither of us knowing we were related; we were never told. All those wasted years – so sad…
Let me go back a few years and give you some background information on my parents, as I feel it necessary for you to understand the circumstances of events. I’m sure you’ll get the gist.
World War II Starts
My parents are both from Scotland and lived in the same town. They dated when my mother was about 18, but when World War II broke out in 1939, my dad volunteered, joining the Scottish Black Watch Regiment as a piper, and got shipped overseas almost straight away. He’d only been a soldier for three months before he was captured and sent to a camp in Poland as a Prisoner of War, where he remained for most of the war – and survived. He tried to keep in touch with my mother but it wasn’t easy to send or receive letters from a Prisoner of War camp, so their communication was very sparse. He did manage to escape into Russia, and was eventually repatriated with his regiment, back in Scotland.
In the meantime, my mother had married someone else and had two sons before my dad came back from the War in 1945. However, the marriage had broken down and they had separated, so mum was on her own raising two little boys and living with her parents. In spite of mum having two small children, my dad started dating her again – and they got me! They couldn’t get married until her divorce came through, but in those days, divorces were not easy to get, especially if it was a ‘messy” divorce, as I think my mother’s was, sometimes taking years.
For whatever reason, my dad eventually started a new life with someone else, had two children, lived in the same town so he would have seen me grow up knowing I was his daughter – and the rest is history.
I left Scotland at the age of 10 and was 29 before I saw that little boy again – my brother!
Sadly, I only knew my dad for 14 years before he passed away, but during those years we kept in constant touch and visited each other often, and I finally got to know that little boy I played with as a child, as my brother. At this stage I still hadn’t met my other sister but I kept in touch with my brother, his wife and their two daughters, my nieces.
I Finally Meet My Sister
For lots of reasons, I never got to meet my sister until my recent trip to the UK in September of this year. Before my father died, he had told her about me, so she was keen to meet me too. Talk about being nervous!
My brother had arranged a family reunion at his home in Scotland, and that’s when I met her, as well as two of her grown children (my nephew and niece), and also great nieces and nephews! My sis is a bubbly lady, full of fun with a great sense of humour, and leads a very busy life being a game-keepers wife. I liked her straight away, and our relationship was easy, with no awkward moments, in spite of all my worrying! We were very comfortable with each other. I so much wanted to be accepted into the family by her; after all, we had the same blood running through our vein; she, my brother and I had the same father! We were blood kin.
We talked endlessly that night, trying to get to know as much about each other as we could, filling in the missing years and swapping photographs. I remember a lot of flashing cameras going off around us, recording the event! It was a wonderful night – a time of building bridges for our whole family.
My brother was in his element, having his two sisters fussing over him – as it should have been years ago.
I can’t get over the fact that I played with him as a child and never knew he was my brother! And my father lived in the same small town. Why weren’t we told?
Tragically, that’s how it was back then; secrets no-one wanted to talk about. Thank goodness things have changed.
Now I have found my whole family, we are complete; my siblings have grown from two brothers and one sister that I grew up with – to three brothers and two sisters!
Family is precious, and for me and mine, a whole new world has opened up for us.
Truth is so important, it shouldn’t be held back – it causes too much damage and heartache.
In my family we have lost so many years because of holding back the truth.