Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Sibling Reunion 14 Years In The Making

Greetings from the Boro,

A rare blog that nothing to do with chasing or weather so sit back and enjoy the ride; two weeks from Saturday I will attend a family reunion......more like a family union. My older half-sister Tracy will make a trip to Tennessee to attend her mother's wedding, this will be the first time I get to see her and I'm not going to lie there may be some tears being shed from this Sasquatch of a man.

I didn't find out about her until I was 14 years old when my other sister Amanda told me about her through letters they wrote to each other (to this day I don't even know how Amanda found out about her). Tracy was one of four children from my father which to me was shocking because until I found out about her, I thought Amanda was was only sibling (she's my only full sister). Amanda told me everything she knew about her through her letters from Tracy; she was 18 at the time (1997) and already had one son Nathan from a man who was in the military. They were living in Jacksonville, NC where she still lives today; the news about her being my sister made my day and I wanted to do everything I could to get to know her myself and eventually meet her, but of course life wouldn't be life without a few speed bumps.

Amanda and Tracy did keep in touch for years afterwards, but around 2001 it seemed as though she disappeared. In the coming years after a life changing incident involving yours truly, I got to reunite with my father's side of the family and eventually found out about David my brother and my oldest sister Ruthie (sadly the marriage between my mom and dad was a brutal one and they divorced while she was pregnant with me, it left such a bitter taste in her mouth she did everything she could to distant Amanda and me from our dad's side because they didn't necessarily had a clean cut reputation in Crossville). Only my Uncle Ralph knew about Tracy and her mother no one else knew about her which to me felt kind of odd. Years passed wondering what she was up to, was she still alive? It was killing me on the inside because of how family oriented of guy I am. One cold dreary day in February of last year I received a text message from Amanda that came out of the blue, she texted me Tracy's phone number they were talking again.

The first time I called up I nearly threw up that's how nervous I was how was she going to react when the voice she hears from the other line was her baby brother (5 years prior Amanda and my other sister Ruthie met up and from what Amanda told me she didn't seem too thrilled about our existence). Her reaction wasn't along the lines of OMG!!!!! THIS IS MY BROTHER she was laid back and somewhat nervous herself (which made me feel comfortable). We got to talking and instantly we bonded; like me she never knew our dad in fact she was put up for adoption at a young age going from foster home to foster home growing up in New Jersey before moving to North Carolina. She also explained to me why she stop getting in touch with my other sister which broke my heart and left me with some rage (I'm not going into detail but her ex-husband better pray to god I don't get my hands on him), in that time she had another son name Thomas (he's nicknamed Bubba). The more we talked the more and more we bonded because folks........we could easily be twins if she wasn't 4 years older than me ;-). Like me she loves rock and metal, hardly drinks but when she does she wants to get shitfaced, and she loves severe weather especially storm chasing (awesome combination when her baby bro is a chaser himself). I shared with her stories about chasing, she told me she watches Storm Chasers with a passion (okay I lied about there being no chasing reference in this blog get over it).

She met Amanda that March and she later got to know the rest of the family through phone contacts, but my busy work schedule made it impossible for me to go see her. I made attempts to make a trip to see her but shit happened that killed any opportunity; when she told me she was making what would be her one and only trip to Tennessee in two weeks I did everything I could to make sure we get to see each other. It almost never happened though as she was $100 short of reserving the rental car needed for the trip; I ditched work early to wire her the money she needed to make sure that come the 23rd we will get to see each other eye to eye.

Fourteen years I waited to tell her face to face how much I love her and that she has family that will stick with her through and through, the 23rd cannot come soon enough but the wait will be well worth it.

My Sister Tracy Michelle Bryan