Finding Family - My Family Travels
This is the photo that I paused to take of my "new" family.

On the way back from cleaning out her locker senior year, she was was hit by an ambulance. This is where everything began.

My father got married years ago and had children: two boys and one girl, Sheran. When my dad got the news that his daughter had died in an accident, he lost his sanity. His relationship with his family fell to pieces. Dad ran away from the shadow that was cast on his life by the death of Sheran.

            Mom worked on a natural reserve in Florida. That’s where my father asked my mother out on their first date. In May of 1994, my parents tied the knot.

            December of 1996 was when Dad held me for the first time. He had a little girl again. That shadow finally dissipated when he stepped into the light given off from the little baby he held in his hands.  

Growing up, I never really knew that I had siblings until I stumbled upon a photo of a young girl. I had found a photo of Sheran. This of course uncovered the hidden identities of my siblings.

Throughout my life, Dad was in and out of the hospital. It was to no surprise that he passed away days before my “sweet” sixteen. When Dad died, it was up to me to contact my brothers. With research, I was only able to contact Eric, the youngest of my brothers. “Great” I thought “Our first conversation and it’s about how our dad passed away.”

            After our first conversation, Eric flew down to Greenville, SC to meet me! I will never forget running down my driveway to hug him! One night he gave me a strand of pearls which were Sheran’s sixteenth birthday present. At first, I didn’t want to take that little piece of Sheran he was offering me. He knew how hesitant I was, so he reassured me by saying “They are where they should be….on my sister.” That made me realize he had missed having a little sister.

            I was sad to see him leave, but shortly after, I flew up to Long Island to meet my nieces! While I was there, I was dragged all over! After scouring the island, one day we took a train to New York City. As soon as I stepped off the train, I was in awe. It was my first time seeing the tall, glimmering skyscrapers of The Big Apple! We toured the Hershey store, looked around the M&M’s store, and saw Wicked on Broadway. Shortly after Elphaba flew away on her broomstick, we ate at an overly crowded diner! At the diner, the servers took turns singing to us as we enjoyed our burgers and milkshakes. After eating, we concluded my tour of NYC by walking to the Empire State Building. On the way, we stopped at this square where flags of all the countries were displayed outside. This is where I took the opportunity to take a photo the “new” family I had finally united with. We finally reached our destination by night fall. The top of the symbolic trophy was lit up with red, white, and blue lights since the 4th of July was approaching. We ended our journey by waiting forever in a hot, unsanitary station. I was exhausted, but I was happy because I was with my family.

Unfortunately, my visit had to end, but I came back with memories of my family I will never have to live without again. To this day, Eric and I are making up for lost time.

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