“I’m keeping you.”

If you followed my blog as I found my birth family, you might remember my half sister Carol.

My birth mother didn’t want to meet me when I first contacted her, but she did give me the name of my birth father. He had died in 1996, but I tracked down his daughter Carol. I called her and told her who I was and why I was calling. “I think that makes us sisters”, I said, not sure what kind of response I would get from this stranger on the phone after I’d told her that her father had an affair in 1968.

Without missing a beat, Carol said, “A sister! I’ve got a sister! I’ve never had a sister before!”

Isn’t that remarkable?

She was the first member of either side of my birth family to meet me and welcome me.

with Carol in October 2014

And when I got my DNA results back, and discovered my birth mother had been wrong about who my birth father was, I called Carol and told her about it. I asked if she’d be willing to take a DNA test so I could figure this out. She said, “sure, I’ll take the test, but I don’t really care what the results say. I’m keeping you. You are family”. 

Carol died today. And I’m heartbroken. She and her amazing family welcomed me in to their family with such generosity and abundance that it forever changed me for the better. Her openness to welcome a stranger and immediately make room for me in her life was a masterclass in hospitality.

I’m so thankful my birth mother didn’t know who my father was because it led me to Carol. To have been her sister these past seven years has been such a gift.

at Idaho Shakespeare when she visited me in 2015.

In gratitude for the gift of her life, I’m raising a glass, which she would have surely joined me in doing.

And I’m lifting up a prayer of gratitude for her life, her laugh, her big heart, her ability to wear lipstick so well, and for the way she claimed me as her own. My prayers are with Amy, Marc, Sally, Kelsey, Kayla, Kamryn, Brady, and Jessica as they mourn her death. She loved you all so much and was so proud of each of you. What a gift to have been loved by Carol.

“I’m keeping you”, Carol told me. May we all live lives where we claim and keep people close. Be like Carol.

May her memory be a blessing.

10 thoughts on ““I’m keeping you.”

  1. Prayers for you as you mourn her loss, and how awesome is how she welcomed you!

    I recently received a Facebook message from someone who turns out to be my half sister. Long story… we share a father, and even while it wasn’t a total shock to me, it’s a bit disconcerting to see my features on this strangers face. And so family expands…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Marci, I am so sorry for your loss–and Carol’s immediate family’s loss. But what a gift you were to each other, and what reason to celebrate her life!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. May there be more Carols in your live, in all our lives. May each of us be CAROL to someone else.
    Blessings on you and all to whom you call family.
    Laura

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your journey has been so amazing! Peace to you.

    Ruth

    On Tue, Nov 2, 2021 at 9:53 PM Glass Overflowing wrote:

    > marciglass posted: “If you followed my blog as I found my birth family, > you might remember my half sister Carol. My birth mother didn’t want to > meet me when I first contacted her, but she did give me the name of my > birth father. He had died in 1996, but I tracked down his” >

    Liked by 1 person

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