Forty-five years ago I was born in Australia. My father, an Italian chef, and I were separated not long after I was born in 1969, by a deep family rift.
Despite the fact that my parents were already engaged before I was conceived, he reluctantly left — after being verbally and physically threatened — and returned to America, where he was an immigrant.
He tried very hard to get my mother to follow him, but she wouldn’t go and thereafter he was married and had another family in the United States. I was so excited to learn I had siblings.
My twin brothers were born in 1972 and our sister arrived eight years later. I was not aware of them until I found my father when I was 20.
I journeyed to NYC in 1989 to meet them all, but unfortunately things didn’t work out (as they often don’t when other people get involved.) After only four days I left, returning to Australia with a broken heart.
Many years later I would speak to one of the twins and then lose contact. Then another large timeframe would elapse before I spoke to the other one ever so briefly. Then nothing! We just lost touch completely.
My last contact for quite some time with one of the twins was 15 years ago. Unfortunately, he lost my details and I figured I would never hear from them again. So with a heavy heart I closed that chapter on my life.
In all that time, the youngest twin searched for me online. He was exhausting all avenues. Until finally in December of 2012, he located me via LinkedIn. It would be another two weeks before I would find it on an old email address I no longer used and it was a miracle I saw it at all. Imagine my surprise!
We spoke on the phone within a couple of days, then began skyping each other. Within two months, he was on Australian soil with me for several months. However, just as he was arriving I was losing my home at the hands of my ex-partner. Although we bounced from place to place, staying with friends and for a time in a little apartment, things were very tight financially and very tough; but it was an amazing experience to have my little brother beside me for some quality time after 45 long and lonely years growing up as an only child. I was thrilled to have his company – a sibling at long last!
We had a very tumultuous time together in Australia, but we stuck together. Eventually in November we arrived in NYC with my youngest child, who is three. I am the very proud mother of ten precious children, eight boys and two girls aged from three to 25. Plus I am the grandmother of one little girl.
Unfortunately I had to return to Australia and I didn’t manage to see my father even once during my 3 month stay.
Separated for 45 years — and the cruel twist of fate was that I was finally in NYC but he was not.
He was still in Italy, unable to afford to come home. Fate had intervened once again and still we were kept apart, even though we had reconnected on Skype and Facebook and I was able to tell him that I love him and keep check on his health status.
I am so sad that this was the result. I just wanted to see and be with my father before too much more time passed, robbing me of his presence altogether. He has had cancer and I feared the worst, as you do when someone has been unwell. All too often you hear stories of someone searching for a parent, all too late, because they have passed away.