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A determined search
One of our classmates has been missing for 40 years and I was determined to find her for our 40th high school reunion.
In the very beginning, I found phone numbers on the internet for people who might have been relatives. I was unable to reach them. I continued to sleuth other leads. Eventually I reached her first cousin, who hadn’t seen my classmate in over 30 years. He shared valuable clues which led me closer. He wanted to know when I found her so he could reconnect with her too.
I found a death listing for a man who died at a young age who could have been her father.
When I began to wonder if I would ever make my find, I had a dream. In it, I was told to call Social Security, where I would reach a friendly person who would supply the missing data I needed to find an obituary. I got the obituary, but not the information I hoped to find, like where my classmate or her relatives lived.
The next day, another classmate asked if I had tried a number she saw in a directory. It was one I’d been trying for weeks. This time there was a change of number recording. I called it. It was to a private room in a medical facility. A woman answered. It was my classmate’s mother. She gave me her daughter’s number.
I called my “lost” classmate. She was amazed I found her given recent changes in her and her mother’s lives. She told me she’d just been thinking of visiting her father’s grave but she couldn’t remember where he was buried. Her mother, ill and elderly, couldn’t remember either. Due to many family moves, the papers had been lost and she’d lost touch with relatives who would know. I told her I had all the information she’d need to find her father’s gravesite and about her cousin who wanted to reconnect. It was quite a moment.
When I called her cousin, he remarked, “You weren’t meant to find her till you uncovered all the information she needed to make closure with her dad’s death. If you had gotten her mother on the phone earlier, there would have been no need to sleuth further. You were meant to help her make peace with that part of her life.”
Of all my experiences as a writer/researcher, this will always stand out as a very special moment. I don’t know who was more joyous or grateful – me, to share with my classmate or she, to receive the information.
Here’s wishing all reunion organizers and attendees wonderful bits of miracles.
About the author
The author, who asked to remain anonymous, says she wrote this“to emphasize the unexpected gifts and little wonderments that occur with reunions of all kinds.”