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Past Reopened


Shasta had grown up with an emotionally distant mother who was extremely private about her past.  Shasta's father left when she was very young, and she had no memories of him. When she asked here mother, all that she would say was that he had been a salesman  who was away from home a lot. She told Shasta that she had no idea where he was now or how to find him, and she made it clear that the subject was closed. 
 
It wasn't until Shasta was well into her thirties and her mother died after a long illness, that she discovered there was more to the past than she had been told.  As she was sorting through her mother's belongings she came across a small velvet box in the drawer of her jewelry chest. Opening the box she found a locket with a photo of Shasta as a young child on the left side, but who was the little boy pictured on the right?  His face seemed almost familiar, but she couldn't place him and she wondered why her mother would have his picture there.  
 
It was an unsettling discovery that led her to begin searching through her mother's personal papers looking for a clue.  In a stack of legal papers that had yellowed with time, she found a birth certificate that stunned her.  Apparently she had a brother named Thomas that had been born two years after her.  Was this the little boy whose photo was next to hers in the locket?  It had to be!  But where was he?  What had happened to him?  Shasta knew she would never be at peace until she found some answers.
 
Since she had no close relatives to ask about her little brother, Shasta wrote down the name of her father as listed on the birth certificate, and began an online search to find him.  There with several entries on websites, all with the same name, but residing in different states.  Starting with the ones that were in relative proximity and within possible age range, she began making calls and sending letters trying to find her long lost father.  One by one she crossed entries off the list she had made as the answers came back that they didn't know her or her mother and hadn't lived or worked in the area at the time of her or Thomas's birth.  
 
Then one night she made a call that was about to change her life.  Dialing yet another number on the list, she began to tell her story to the man on the other end.  He got very quiet and she held her breath waiting for a response.  "I believe that I am your father and you have found me, Shasta," said a voice choked with emotion, "All these years I have longed to know what happened to you and to hear your voice.  When we got divorced your mother and I signed an agreement that we wouldn't have any contact and wouldn't interfere in each other's lives.  She kept you and I took Thomas to live with me."
 
"Thomas?" Shasta's heart nearly stopped beating. "Where is Thomas?" 
 
"He's right here, Shasta, he just dropped by to visit me.  Would you like to talk to him?"

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This post was written in retrospect for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the prompt choices this week are open and early...
Come and join us there!

20 comments:

  1. This is suh a contemporary story. There are so many that find this truth, with the help of the Internet are ancestry sites. Too often people make choices to cut integral figures out of their lives for selfish reasons. It hurts children when you keep significant people from loving them. Children can never have too much love, especially from important figures like parents, grandparents & sibllings.

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    1. I absolutely agree with you Annie, it is morally wrong to close off access to family members for children because of grievances the adults may have. My ex's children were told by their mother that he was dead! What a horrible thing to do. I cannot imagine living your whole life and not telling your child the truth about parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. especially when they are grown, let them make up their own minds about who they want in their lives!

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  2. It is wonderful that opening the past is working for your heroin. Sometimes finding past can be painful...love this kind of heart warming story...

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    1. That's true, GS, I've seen reconnections bring joy and new peace of mind, and then I've seen some go badly where the individual who was searching ended up feeling even more rejected. It's always a risk, but I like to think the odds are in the seeker's favor. To reconnect with those who should have a role in our lives seems like the right thing to do, especially if they will play a positive role!

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  3. How wonderful. To find your father and your brother in the same day. Excellent.

    Have a fabulous day honey. Big hugs. ☺

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    1. It would indeed be very wonderful, Sandee! I was with my ex-husband on the day he met his mother, his half-brother, and several half-sisters that had never been allowed to have a part in his life... it was amazing! Just a year ago he also had the joy of being reconnected with his own daughter, who had been kept from him for thirty years! He is delighting in his new role of grandpa to her children now and in having her as part of his daily life.

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  4. oh my gosh- what a wonderful story. Such patient persistence ....big hugs!

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    1. Thank you Kathe, I enjoyed writing this one! Imagine discovering something like that after thirty years of life! :-)

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  5. I was glued to the story line of the search and kept thinking how much bravery it would take to make all those cold calls...Your writing definitely made me think about the outskirts of the story as well...that's what I love about reading! Thanks again for the invite! I was never really one for writing much fiction or even short stories so this is going to stretch some writing muscles that really needed a work out! Thanks! Zoe~

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    1. It would take a great deal of courage to start working your way down a list, hoping beyond hope that one will be the one you've been looking for and dreaming about.

      I didn't write any fiction before last year either, Zoe, didn't think I could or would enjoy it. I've found it to be very fun, and you certainly proved with your piece that you can do it very well!!

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  6. Beautiful story. You could really turn this into a bigger story. Really enjoyed it. Why did the couple separate? Oh well, maybe you will add to the story with another installment? Thanks.

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    1. Thank you Mary! Yes, really this story is like the beginning of a whole new chapter in each of their lives. It would be fun to go back and explore what each of the three (and maybe Mom too) experienced up to this point and what transpired after the initial reunion.

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  7. The past can be a scary place and takes some courage to look into it. Glad your story had a happy ending.

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    1. Having been the one to make the initial contact with my ex's mother and sisters, I can attest to the nervousness of it. I will never forget the look on his face as I told him I'd found his mother and she wanted to see him, there was a visible transformation as thirty years of pain rolled away, and it was an amazing reunion to witness, turns out she looked very much like a female version of him, right down to the green eyes! I'm glad his story had a happy ending, because we know it doesn't always work this way. I'm glad this story ended happily too... or more accurately started new beginnings happily!

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  8. Whoah, a gripping story! I was on the edge of my seat. I have always wondered about my parents past lives. : )

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    1. Hi Joseph! It's true that especially when we are young we really don't think of our parents as people with their own lives, to us they are "mom and dad" and we see them only in those roles. But before we came alone they had lives too, and even as we are growing up there are parts of their lives we don't know about or don't remember. I learned a lot about my Dad and his earlier years of adulthood many years after I had left home. It surprised me! :-)

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  9. I read somewhere, 'With one small gesture, you can change a person's life, for better or for worse'.

    Nice story, Ms. Josie ;o)

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    1. Thank you, Abelle! That's so true, the choices we make for our own lives and for the lives of others are so very important!

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  10. I hope she has the happy ending that she deserves. These kind of scenarios can go one way or the other I feel. You always hope that they go well,don't you!
    Josie I think that was a great interpretation of the prompt and i found it really interesting reading through the comments that people have left you. There is a nice little community here,it feels like a friendly place

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    1. I have known people for whom such reunions didn't end happily, Jess, and that is a tragedy. But yes, I do always hope that they go well, I always hope for the best, pray for the best, and want to believe the best. This means that often in life I will be disappointed, but the wonderful, joyous times when good triumphs makes it all worth it!

      You are right about the group that joins us for TST, Jess, very friendly, supportive, and caring, and that's what I love most about it, along with the fun of seeing how different minds and personalities take a word and make it their own! I'm so glad you've come to join us, feel free to bring along any friends that love to write! -)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)