While I had been disappointed and upset in the past that I hadn’t been more dedicated to searching, I came to accept and understand that it’s not always about our timing. Sometimes, things are just meant to be on their own timing. I have learned that while it is a good idea to plan and prepare for things in life, you cannot always control how things turn out. So for whatever reason, now seems to be the right time to search. Obviously my main motivation is that this is something that is important to me to gain closure in some shape or form. And the big drive for the timing of now can be attributed to the effects of my husband’s near fatal health crisis, as well as the pandemic and it’s protocols. I am a different person than the one I was before enduring all of that. I live differently and I proceed in my life direction in a newly altered mindset. If I want to gain closure on this quest, then there is no time like the present because I have been continually enlightened over the course of the past year, that we are guaranteed nothing more than the moment we are in.
My search began with pouring over all the notes I had taken while looking for details in all of the letters and cards. I went straight to the internet and began my search. I started by looking for Bonnie using her maiden name and Lee using the same last name. That did not yield anything worthwhile. I thought about how she most likely did get married and since I didn’t have that information, it made it more difficult. I came to the same conclusion with Lee, in that if he was given the last name of her husband, I didn’t have that for my search. I went back over my notes and found where I had written down information she had mentioned in one of her letters regarding her brother getting married. While women tend to change their last names with marriage, most men do not. I went back to the internet with my new search for her brother and his wife using his family last name. I weeded through some results where the age would not be correct. I was open to locations because I know people move. After looking through various possibilities, I came across an obituary for her brother. Obituaries bring a mix of emotions for me. I am sympathetic for the families and their loss and I am also reflective of the remarkable life lived and the legacy left behind. Obituaries often contain a wealth of information often listing many generations of family which are surviving or who have passed on previously. And that is where I saw her name. Bonnie was listed as a surviving relative and it listed her married last name. This was the key that opened the search. I also was able to see other family names. This broadened the search because family tends to remain connected so if you are able to locate one, it is helpful in linking to the other family members. I tried some general searches on the internet and with my results yielding hit or miss, I decided to turn to a place that I felt I might find more success. I logged into Facebook and started searching. The first successful find was for a sister of Bonnie. A search for Bonnie was a success as well. I searched for Lee but was not successful. I was not deterred because it’s not uncommon for more women than men to use Facebook. I just kept searching, looking through common links and then I found it. I was correct on my assumption about having more success finding female family members. While I didn’t exactly find Lee, I found what I assumed was his wife. Her profile picture features a beautiful happy family of four. Could this be Lee and his family?
Now with even more names I returned to the internet search engines and did some more investigation. I was able to find a little bit of a timeline of Lee’s life from his marriage to today. As you may have noticed throughout this entire post as well as previous posts, I have been reserved in providing first and last names together as I wish to be respectful for reasons of privacy. Like I mentioned before, I have nothing but the purest of intentions. So until otherwise and if I am able to connect and establish a connection, I will continue to honor privacy. That said at this time, I will not divulge any specifics on where they are all living and what they are doing. What I can share, is that it appears they have led and continue to lead wonderfully blessed lives and for that, I am so grateful to see.
So now what? Remember those three words? That goes back to my very first blog post which started this entire journey. I chose to reach out via Facebook to Lee’s wife. I did a lot of soul searching regarding this and I wondered what it would be like to be on the receiving end of this kind of information. On March 8th, 2021 I sent a friend request to Lee’s wife. I wanted her to be able to see more information about the person I am and have a little insight into my life. I understand how people can get fraudulent friend requests and have been on the receiving end of many which I promptly delete the request especially if we have no common contacts. She and I share no common friends so I’m concerned my request may be deleted for the very reasons I listed above. Additionally I sent her a message on Facebook messenger. This too might very well yield the same result as the friend request for the same reasons. All I can do is try and see what happens, right?
This is what I wrote:
“Hello, As I write these words, I struggle to find the right ones. I have tried to think of the perfect words but I just keep starting over. I have prayed about it and I feel compelled to just speak from my heart, honestly and openly. After all, I have many questions myself. I have been presented with some family mementos including some letters and photos that have brought some possible revelations of things I wasn’t aware of. These led me to do some searching and questioning and has led me to you and a possible connection with your family. I was just wondering if perhaps you would be open to talking so that I could ask a few questions and gain some insight into the things I have been given which have brought many questions. I am more than happy to answer any questions you have and I promise transparency and honesty. I’m just looking for some answers to some things that I never knew about. Perhaps I have found the wrong people or perhaps the documents I have are not related to you and your family but I needed to reach out and start somewhere. I am looking for (legal first name – retracted for privacy) Lee (family last name – retracted for privacy)(mother’s married last name – retracted for privacy), son of Bonnie (maiden last name – retracted for privacy) (married last name – retracted for privacy).
I will send a photo that was included in the mementos for you to see and perhaps confirm or decline a connection.”
Then, I added the baby photo into the chat and hit send.
And now I wait…