This I Believe

Meghan - Glendale, Arizona
Entered on September 7, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, love
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I believe unconditional love survives all obstacles. I believe that familial bonds, though estranged, cannot be broken.

I’ve known that I have a half-brother and sister all my life. However, this news came as quite a shock to them. It was our father’s choice to keep the three of us separated, but I came to realize that his decision just didn’t suit me.

The jubilation that I felt knowing that I had a brother and sister of my very own had been building up inside me for years. The fact that I had never met them was inconsequential; I already loved them as much as I would have if we had grown up together. I decided to call my sister. She was nearly eighteen and therefore capable of making her own decision about me. I sat through every heart-pounding ring, praying for no one to answer, until I heard the “Hello?” that I had secretly been hoping for. I was caught so off-guard that the only words I could muster were, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’m your sister.” Initially, she thought that it was a joke. But after nearly two hours on the phone, she realized that wasn’t the case. We arranged to meet a few weeks later.

The night that the three of us finally came together will forever be imbedded in my memory. I had been preparing for this meeting since the moment I got off the phone with my sister. As a belated birthday gift, I bought her a book about sisters and the unique bond that they share, in hopes that, one day, she might reciprocate the way that I had always felt about her. When the knock at the door finally came, I opened it only to find two people who looked so much like myself that there was no way to deny that we were related. We sat around and talked like we were old friends and I prayed that the night would never end. For the past fourteen years, I had lacked a connection as powerful as the one that the three of us now shared, and I didn’t want to let it go.

As time passed, we talked less frequently, until the phone just stopped ringing entirely. The hype was over and we all moved on with our separate lives, but not a day went by that I didn’t think about them. In a final effort to reach out, I wrote my sister a letter to tell her how much I missed her and that I wanted to work on strengthening our relationship. My letter was not well received. In a nutshell, my sister told me that she hated me for tainting the image that she once had of our father and that she never wanted to speak to me again. I was destroyed.

It has been a long, hard road since that point, but not once have I stopped caring about my brother and sister. Despite the rejection that I have endured, my love for them remains unconditional. Most people would have cut their losses and just given up, but I could never turn my back on family, no matter what they have done or said. Of course, I still hold out hope that one day things will change and they will realize that we are better together than apart. But whether that happens tomorrow, ten years from now, or not at all, my feelings will always remain unchanged.