Friday, November 19, 2010

A Gift of God--Sister and Brother

Left:  Dorothy, Near a beautiful tree outside the St. Petersburg Art Museum

Below to right:  John (myself) by the same tree.  Click on either to enlarge.
   As I write I am in the middle of a wonderful visit with my sister Dorothy here at St. Anthony Friary. Our friary  has wonderful guest accommodations and she is enjoying the warmth and hospitality of my brother friars. The reason for writing about this visit on this blog, however, is the uniqueness of our relationship. I did not know Dorothy, or know of her until a little over 4 years ago.  To give the short version of the story Dorothy was born to my mother a year before she met my father.  Times were different then and Mom had to put Dorothy up for adoption.  My parents met, had a wonderful marriage of 48 years, and raised three children, me, my sister Anne and my brother Michael.  Anne passed away in 2002.

  At the time of our mother's death in 1992 I learned of the child that she bore prior to meeting my father.  I had interest in making contact but looked in all the wrong places. Four years ago, shortly after I moved from Hialeah to St. Petersburg, I received a letter from a social worker in Boston informing me that my sister desired to make contact with us. There was a very respectably written letter from this woman named Dorothy expressing a desire to meet us but fully appreciating that we might not want to do that.  I immediately made contact and arranged to speak with Dorothy and meet her as soon as possible. My brother Michael and his wife Laureen joined me a few weeks later to travel to New Hampshire and meet her.  It has been a blessing for all of us, as well as for Dorothy's children  Melissa and Erik, and Michael's daughters Laurie and Michelle.

   We are amazed at the family resemblance in each others faces and are delighted to learn of the experiences that each one of us has had in life. During this visit with Dorothy in St. Petersburg I have enjoyed seeing her appreciation of art and architecture and she, understandably nervous about living for 5 days in a friary, has enjoyed the hospitality and kind outreach of my brother friars who have truly made her feel like part of the Franciscan family.  In Greek Dorothy means gift of God and she has indeed been that to us and I hope that we have been for her.


  1. We never know what life will bring us but when it's sweet and loving lucky are we!
    - Melissa

  2. Life is always full of great expectations. Glad to know that you found your sister.