I am just returned from England where I spent several days with my half sister and her families. Although I am about to celebrate my seventy something birthday, this was only the fourth occasion that I have met her. I discovered her existence six years ago. She has rapidly become a very close and loved sister of mine, along with her husband, two daughters, and family.
I never imagined that I would attend the national UK school band championship in Manchester and see my niece’s daughter win gold and platinum music awards. I never expected to participate in an evening barbecue with my niece and family among the rape seed fields of Shropshire. And who could have expected an invitation to spend time with my sister’s eldest daughter and spouse in the “pork pie” county of Rutland. The return of the Ospreys to Rutland Water is akin to my return to a long lost family. These birds fly up from Gambia, Western Africa, covering nearly 3,000 miles in about 24 days. When they first arrived in Rutland, they were the first Ospreys to nest in England for 150 years. Their period of absence and their willingness to persevere a long journey resonate with me.
It is so humbling to encounter the love and friendship of people who had no requirement to accept you into their family. And how did this happen? You need to read my story in An Unplanned Encounter that is available on Kindle and through Amazon. It is hard to believe that at the age of 64 I would discover from my mother that my birth came as a result of a non-consensual relationship.