I had met my father about 5 years previously. 2 years later he had passed away. I never went to his funeral – It would have been innappropriate. When I met him he talked about his family and said that he had 2 sons who were engaged and about to be married. Little did I know it at the time but my best male friend had not only gone to school with them, but was doing business with one of their wives – a long story for another time.
Anyway years later I was again ‘bromming’ with the desire to connect with family, but not sure how to begin. I was running a restaurant at the time and one night a lovely young couple came in and because it was busy I started serving them. No sparks of fire, no touches of the universe right? WRONG!!!! As I dropped drinks off at their table the guy took out his lighter and put it on the table – well I nearly passed out! The logo was for my father’s company! I said nothing, but I remember shaking to bits and getting very agitated. This man was a complete stranger, how on earth could I approach him with questions without explaining myself?
Well it took only a few minutes of freaking out before I decided to take the bull by the horns. I walked slowly to his table and quietly asked him about the logo on his lighter. (I should perhaps also mention that within the same week a truck bearing that logo had also driven past the restaurant!).
This guy (we’ll call him Shaggy – he had shaggy hair and specs) told me that he worked for the company. I was pretending to be calm and said ‘hmmm, that’s interesting, my dad used to be a director there’. After asking who my dad was he told me that he had known him and now worked for my brother who after dads passing had taken his place as a director.
Well all bets were off at that point and before I could stop myself I told him my story. I also said that I wasn’t sure how or if to contact my brother because I was afraid of his reaction. Shaggy was immediately up in arms. He told me what a great man my brother was and that he had no doubt that he’d be thrilled to find me. He even offered to speak to him for me. Any doubts I may have had fled due completely to the enthusiasm of a perfect stranger. Shaggy was without a doubt the only reason I found the courage to call my brother.
So the following day, I phoned him and left a message – days later – no reply. I called a second time stressing it was urgent, same thing. By this time I was above and beyond. I decided that hysteria wasn’t going to help so I got praying. The prayers basically went along the lines of please help me to contact him, but if it’s not meant to be, help me to accept that and I won’t try again. So I called a third time – less than 20 minutes later he called back!
I told him that this was going to be a weird call, I think I even apologised.My words were ‘ my name is Beth and I am your sister’. His reply was loud and immediate ‘I always knew I had a sister!
I’m sure we chatted – I can’t remember – I was beyond the pale at that point. I nervously asked him if he wanted to meet at ‘some stage’, thinking he’d need time to mull things over first. His response was again loud and immediate – ‘lets meet tomorrow!’
‘Tomorrow’, as it turned out, was Valentines Day. We had agreed to meet at the News Cafe. I said I would bring my little denim bag with the bright flower on it and put it on the table so that he would know who I was. He said that he was tall, dark and handsome and I would know who he was!! Crazy git!
So I got there early and stared at EVERY tall dark and handsome man that walked in. The universe was obviously pulling a funny because on that day there were bucket loads of them! but when he arrived I knew it was him. He came straight up to me carrying an enormous bunch of white roses and before I had time to put my hand out to greet him – he hugged me.
Well, I was finished! I had a real live honest-to-God brother with big ears just like me………….