LESLIESENIOR
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An Unbelievable Day

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I hope you will all indulge me as I share a personal story. I have shared about my twin brother, Russ, before so apologize to those who have heard this before.

In 1978, my twin brother and I were both expecting our first sons with our respective spouses. We were 25 years old. I was happily married, he was happily married, and our careers and lives were moving along well. My brother was working, during the summer, at a small liquor market to make extra money, when he was tragically shot to death by a 19 year old young man who took the $60 in the cash register and ran.

My sister-in-law delivered their baby 8 days after his death. I delivered my son 2 months later. My sister-in-law took "little Russ" back to Arizona to be near family and did an amazing job raising him alone. When "little Russ" was in 1st grade she met and married an incredible man who adopted my nephew. They had another child and have been a beautiful family from the start.

Meanwhile, back in California, my family blew up like a bomb. My parents had many problems before the murder, so this event triggered a chain of continuous disasters that has lasted for some of my biological family to this day. I will leave out the ugly details. I made a decision early on to allow my nephew and my sister-in-law to pursue their new lives without the interference of our drama. I kept in touch over the years, as did several other family members. I knew that God would create the right time and place for "little Russ" to ask about his biological father and want to be in touch with me. My brother's memory was kept alive by my dear sister-in-law even though a new family had been created.

Well, this Christmas, my nephew's wife sent her annual Christmas card with a message stating that it was time we all get together. She and I have been e-mailing for a month, getting to know each other and setting up a visit.

Today was that day. Even though I had seen "little Russ" a few times over the years, this felt like the first real meeting. He has two darling, young sons, and his wife is as adorable as her pictures and e-mails. My husband and I drove to their home only 60 miles away for lunch and a magical afternoon. The weather was a crystal clear, 80 degree, January day. Their lunch was perfect, and the conversation was as natural as if we had always known each other. I took a homemade apple pie which they really appreciated. I brought some photo albums and let Russ pick any pictures he wanted of my brother. We played with my grand nephews and the 3 year old started calling my Grandma Leslie (I'm his great aunt, but who am I to argue with that adorable label?) We talked non-stop and left before dark, vowing to get together again so they can meet my three boys, Russ' cousins. We felt the presence of my brother, my dad, and God shining down on our reunion.

I'm still floating and really appreciate you letting me share.




BTW~ Big Russ was 6'7" tall.
My dad was 6'6" tall.
Little Russ is 6'6" tall.....so he's not so "little" any more.....
I'm 5'9" and he dwarfs me.....

Peace to you all, today. Never give up~Miracles do happen!!!!!
Leslie
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • BC062012
    Thank you so much Leslie for sharing this wonderful occasion!!!! Even from pains, comes new beginnings ....... our miracles!!! What a very special beginning this was for everyone :-)
    2126 days ago
  • AUDYBEE
    Oh, Leslie - what an amazing story! I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear brother, Russ. His son "little" Russ has turned out to be a wonderful man with a beautiful family. I am so glad that you were able to get together and I'm sure that relationship will continue. What a blessing and joy for both families. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story. emoticon
    2128 days ago
  • BETHGILLIGAN
    Leslie--I read this the other day and it brought tears to my eyes!! What a wonderful story! Hopefully, those family bonds will be re-established and continue. Your nephew and family would be blessed to have you as part of their lives. You deserve lots of happy endings (and beginnings!)
    2128 days ago
  • KANOE10
    What a beautiful story. I am so happy for you. That is so special meeting your brother's child and grand nephews. emoticon
    2129 days ago
  • TRAVELGRRL
    I am so touched by your story...it's a testament that goodness can prevail in the end. I'm so sorry that your parents could not move on; unfortunately your brother's murder sounds like it claimed more than one life...

    But the joy of your day! I am so happy for you all.
    2129 days ago
  • MYOWNHERO
    What an amazing story. This reunion will be such a blessing for each and every one of you. Thank you for sharing with us.
    2129 days ago
  • RUNNER12COM
    Oh, my gosh, what a wonderful ending (beginning?) to this family story!
    2129 days ago
  • MEDDYPEDDY
    How clever of you all to get the family together and let that little boy, the next generation become aware of roots and gamily! Bless you all and thanks for sharing!
    2130 days ago
  • AJDOVER1
    What a magical day for your family! I so want to believe that when the time is right I will be reunited with those who have been removed from my life. Your story has renewed my hope a bit. I applaud your courage in letting them go and having faith that you would connect later. thanks!
    2130 days ago
  • SHERRY666
    OH LESLIE WHAT A BEAUTIFUL STORY......... MIRACLES REALLY DO HAPPEN...... AND LIFE IS SO PRECIOUS...... ...... I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOUR WONDERFUL DAY.... THAT IS SO AMAZING HOW EVERYTHING CAME TOGETHER AND MADE YOU ALL SO HAPPY......... WHAT A TERRIBLE THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOUR BROTHER MANY YEARS AGO..... IT'S GREAT HIS WIFE DID STAY IN TOUCH AND YOU COULD MEET AND SHARE WITH LITTLE RUSS........ YOU ALL LOOK SO HAPPY IN THE PICTURES......... THANKS FOR SHARING THIS WITH US.......
    2130 days ago
  • MEADSBAY
    Oh, my dear Leslie.
    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story of love and family.
    You did the right but difficult thing all those years ago, despite your own pain and loss, and waited so patiently in hopes of a happy ending.
    I am so happy for you all.
    It couldn't have happened to a nicer person.
    You deserve every wonderful thing that happens to you.
    emoticon

    2131 days ago
  • MOMMY445
    i,too,am very sorry about what happened with your brother. i am so glad to hear about you reuniting with your family. that is wonderful news! have a terrific day!
    2131 days ago
  • MAESTRAPLANK1
    How precious this day and reunion was for you. "Precious Memories" is a very very special song that stirs my soul! emoticon God is working here! Surely the spiritual presence of your brother and dad were experienced by all of you. I am so thrilled for all of you. Leslie, this is great family drama! You deserve this family celebration! emoticon
    2131 days ago
  • _CYNDY55_
    emoticon In memory of your brother.
    Saturday was very special day for You. Your Family did come together and reacquaint!
    I see much Happiness and Love!
    Charming Picture's *"Leslie"*.
    Thank You for sharing Your Family and You!
    emoticon




    2131 days ago
  • SAMZA83
    emoticon I am very sorry about what happened with your brother but very happy that you have been able to reunite as a family :)
    2131 days ago
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