The last time I seen my older sister was 1994 in a Foot Locker®. The last 11 years, between classes, on breaks, and while vacaying in various spots, I searched for her. Tonight I found her. It’s impossible to describe this feeling, but i’m going to try, sacrificing chronological order, sense, and a few other things:
i’ve called the same 540 (area code) number for the last five years, listening to some strange woman on the other end finally tell me a month ago: “honey, you call here at this time every year. let me see if i know someone who knows her and call you back.” she didn’t know anyone.
i’ve check facebook and myspace weekly, hoping she fell into the trap so many of us did, but she hasn’t. or perhaps, like me, she changed her name so it’d be hard to find.
randomly i was checking the obituaries in 2007 and sadly came across her mom’s. her last name was different because she was now married. maybe i can find her this way, i thought. damnit, no luck. so i kept going. exhausted, and close to giving up, i kept on going. there’s a quote i once taped to my wall that said something like:
[when you’ve done all you can, and you can’t go any further – go one more mile]
so i kept pushing, doing the same things i’ve been doing: checking sites, calling numbers, and asking a father who wasn’t/isn’t too close to either of us due to whatever circumstances reagan and the first bush made him face.
two months ago, though, my friend told me she found a bunch of my information on a site called Spokeo.com. i laughed, and called her a liar, then went to the site, and saw it all for myself. if i was on there, maybe my sister was, too. i checked. BAM! she was. but there were five addresses under her name, and that ONE phone number i’ve been calling. me in LA and her in staunton, virginia (only 45 minutes from my hometown). i can’t get to these addresses to knock nervously.
i’m east because i needed to see my mom and grandma. hugs are needed, even for superman.
it rained today (wednesday march 9, 2011) and i almost went to DC to get my birth certificate and a few other things, and smile with a few friends. but some little man danced around my brain saying “go to staunton and just check out the addresses.” i took my cousin who was conveniently off from work, and bold enough to speak to the strangers who may open the door.
house house house house. no no no no.
the fifth house came. and nothing on the porch, yard, mailbox said anything about the girl i knew in the early 90’s.
we knocked anyway, trying to keep the hair from messing up my cousin’s weave.
the woman: yes?
my cousin: we’re looking for my cousin, tomika, and this is the last address that’s listed for her. but this probably isn’t it, huh?
me: she’s my sister, and i havent seen her since 1994, and i we’ve knocked on four other doors before this, and this is the last on the list.
the woman: no, she doesn’t live here. but she is married to my son, and they don’t live too far. you want me to call her?
i drove. we knocked. she opened and we hugged. hugged. hugged. and laughed for hours. nephew.
and to describe this feeling is damn near impossible. it’s like cotton candy on a rainy day. that’s the best i can do.