I was getting tired of the same old story:
“Everything was fine. Next thing we knew his mother put him on a plane to England and they were never to be seen or heard from again.”
It goes back to Kingston, Jamaica circa Spring 1984. Now, I don’t know all the details, mainly because I was a nine-month-old baby then. But I do know it was around the same time that my 11-year-old brother allegedly disappeared without a trace. My brother, Paul, is my father’s first child, from his first marriage. Somewhere along the line that relationship took a turn for the worse and, eventually, unbeknownst to my dad, his estranged wife packed her bags and relocated to London – with my big bro by her side. In August 1984, a birthday card arrived in the mail addressed to me. It was from Paul.
No return address.
Little did we know that would be the last time we’d hear from him. Numerous attempts to search for him both in Jamaica (in case he had returned) and in England – had all failed.
I’m not exactly sure what lit the fire under my butt again in September 2007, but I was determined to find this man. I scoured the Internet once again, only this time my search revealed a blog entry written by a man with the exact same name. I clicked on his name and read a short bio, and the key words “born in Kingston, Jamaica” were all I could focus on. I noticed a clickable link for readers to email the author, and that’s when I sent a letter I will never forget.
It was him. It was my brother.
Fast forward a few years and my brother and I reunited in Spring 2011 in Toronto, Canada at my father’s birthday party. He flew all the way here from England. I met his three sons and he met my daughters. He reunited with my big sister, whom he used to play with as a child. Our dad was able to rekindle a relationship with the son he thought he’d never see again. I thought these happy moments only happened on television.
5 Reasons Why I Don’t Mind The Gap In My Siblinghood
- We skipped out on all the fighting/sibling rivalry
There were no disagreements over candy, clothes, or which kid mommy and daddy loved the most. We were never in competition with each other. Our parents didn’t spend all their time putting us on time outs for pushing each other around.
- If you’re the younger one, you have someone whose advice you can really trust
You won’t always want to go to mommy and daddy and ask certain questions or tell-all when sh*t hits the fan. So, who else but a big brother or sister can you confide in when times get especially tough – or you have a big decision to make? In many cases, your older sibling has already been there and done that. They can also bail you out of jail, if necessary, in case you went with the wrong choice.
- You both have a period of experiencing only-child syndrome
Because there’s a 12-year gap between my sister and I, and I’m 11 years younger than my brother, you can bet I had my moment of feeling like I was the only one. And they had their time, too. It’s not a bad thing to get love from your parents, without feeling like you’ll never have their full attention.
- A magical thing starts happening as you get older, you become friends
Big sis and I hang out all the time, with her friends or mine, and that’s cool. We have a lot of fun. I hardly remember the age difference when we’re together…until the moment she starts reminiscing about her high school days and I realize I totally can’t relate.
- No hand me downs
It’s great to be the “baby” when your siblings are much older. What was theirs was theirs, and what was yours was always brand new! Amazing!