A couple years ago I came back from a great weekend at the cabin and opened a Facebook private message that said, “I think I’m your sister. I think we share the same dad.”
Well, that’s always an interesting message to get!!
In celebration of Siblings Day, I’m paying tribute to my newest sibling (well kinda… but that’s for another day). Marti Alvera grew up not knowing who her biological father was. Marti was lucky enough to have a wonderful man marry her mom and become her dad from the time she was young. After this father had crossed over a few years ago from cancer, Marti wondered about her bio father. Marti’s mom gifted her a DNA kit for Christmas, encouraging her that it was time she had some answers to her long time questions. When she received the results her closest relative was my Aunt Kathy and with this information, she and her mom jumped into detective mode. It wasn’t long until she had found the obituary of my dad and then found her way to me. She told me she was a little scared writing out that private message because she didn’t know how it would be received. Well, being the oldest of nine siblings makes me LOVE siblings so I was thrilled to add another one!!! I love being the BIG sister!!!
I responded to her message right away and when she sheepishly asked if maybe we could meet one day, I responded…. “Ya, what are you doing right now?” We met at Starbucks for our first ever sister coffee date where I announced to the entire restaurant that my sister had just found me after 45 years. I brought some pictures of dad with me and we talked for hours. Because the DNA test had shown the closest relative was my Aunt Kathy, we weren’t sure if we were sisters or cousins so I did my own DNA test and six LONG weeks later it confirmed what I already knew in heart. We were sisters.
For most of my life every once in a while I’ve felt a call in my heart from someone. It might sound a little crazy but I’d get this feeling that one of my sisters needed me. I’d go down the list of sisters, texting, calling and checking in with each of them. They would all be doing fine so it did leave me wondering if there was someone else out there connected to me that I hadn’t yet met. Turns out, Marti told me, since she was little, she would lay in her bed once in a while and wonder who her other family was. She wondered what her dad was like and if she had any other siblings. Turns out the sister I’d been feeling a “heart call” from for most of my life, had finally found me.
Marti has my dad’s eyes. When I look at her, I see him. I love watching her laugh and when I can tell her heart is smiling because we are sisters. In a way I feel like when dad left, he gave me her as a gift to keep his memory alive. At first I was a little mad because I wanted to know what the story was about dad and Marti’s mom but Marti just told me to let it all go because we would never know and it didn’t even matter, now that we had found each other. That’s what I love the most about her…. She loves our dad, forgave him immediately and loves me to tell stories about him…. Which helps me when I’m missing him. She is a strong woman who has travelled to hell and came out of the fire with a passion to help other women that might be going through the same hell. I’m so proud of the woman she is becoming. Most women that have been through what she has would either be bitter and angry or broken and depressed….. Marti is sassy and does her best to stay positive. She is working on becoming her best self and I love watching her grow herself personally.
I love that we became fast friends. Right from the beginning we texted each other all the time. We hung out whenever we could. I’ve been able to get to know her kiddos and have loved getting to know all of them more. Our visits have slowed down a bit since the pandemic but right before COVID shut us all down I was able to introduce her to the rest of her family on our dad’s side. We met at a restaurant and it was so fun. The conversation was lively and exciting….. At one point I looked over at her and there were tears rolling down her cheeks. I asked if she was ok. She simply said, “I’ve dreamed my whole life that I’d one day meet my other family and today that dream came true. It just feels so BIG!”
Welcome to the family Marti!!!
I’m so grateful Marti had a strong and amazing mom to raise her. I’m so thankful she had a man who become her dad when she was young and I’m so happy she shares his memories with me. I’m so thankful to have added another sister to my life.
Dear Marti, because YOU have always been in my heart….. I have been changed for good. Love you sis. Happy Siblings Day from Your BIG SIS.