I stared at the screen after I hit the send button, as if my staring could somehow will something into happening. In my stare-down contest, I eventually blinked and lost that battle. Nothing happened. I set my phone aside and went about the rest of my evening. Minutes turned into an hour. I checked and made sure it had been sent although I already knew that. The night evolved into the next day and nothing had happened. At first I thought that I would be able to know if the message had been read but after a quick check, I realized that since we are not “friends” on Facebook, I would not know for sure. The receiver could see and read the message but the sender would not know unless the receiver chose to engage and reply.
Days turned into weeks. I wondered if the message had been received and there was no interest. Or maybe it had not been received. Not everyone uses Facebook every single day. I’m one of those people and honestly I am a happier person for it. I used to be pretty active on social media but it became somewhat draining so I simply stepped back a little and I use it on my terms and I am better for it. I wondered if maybe they were similar in their social media use. Occasionally I would check the page to see if any posts had been made. Granted I understand that my view is limited due to not being friends. Those weeks turned into months and nothing happened.
And that’s when it began to slowly unfold, I began to fall back into old patterns and the comfort of the known. While nothing was happening with results in my search, I was building up a fortress of protection against the unknown and finding comfort in life as I knew it. Same old same old. And yet there was a nagging push to break free from that old mold. Excuses kept bringing me reason to let things remain as the status quo. But my life isn’t meant to be lived that way, not any more.
Sometimes naming fears helps to more easily address them. What was I so afraid of? Rejection. What if they saw my message and chose not to reply because they wanted nothing to do with the situation? But what if they never saw the message? How would I know? Doubts are heavy things and they can wreak havoc in your life if you let them.
I needed to find another way. I couldn’t just give up so easily. I was able to find an email and so that is where I will try to reach out again. I plan on using the original message I sent but perhaps adding a little more. I was limited to characters in the message I sent on Facebook Messenger but in an email I can have a bit more flexibility on word count. Yes I am still nervous, but I am also remaining optimistic to possibilities. In a few days I will celebrate a big birthday. I have always loved celebrating other’s birthdays while mine just felt like another day. But this year is different, because I am forever changed. Life is precious and should be celebrated. I kept putting off trying to continue this search because I hit some dead ends and some roadblocks and I used various excuses to just give up, but with a monumental birthday coming up, it helped serve as a reminder that we are guaranteed nothing more than the moment we are in.
So with a self imposed deadline looming, here is what I wrote.
“Hello, my name is Anissa and I am reaching out to you to see if I can find some answers and perhaps draw some closure to some questions I have regarding a possible connection between us. Originally I reached out to you and your family via facebook messenger but I’m not sure if you received my message or if it was perhaps considered and filtered as spam or one of those fake accounts that hacks other accounts. I sent you a friend request but if you are anything like me, seeing we have no mutual friends, it could have been deleted, as I would have probably done. When I considered all of the things that could have interfered with my original attempt at trying to get in touch, I felt I should try again using email.
This is a somewhat difficult letter to write because it’s hard to find the correct words. Basically to get right to the point, I was presented with some family mementoes to include several letters and a photo which have brought some possible revelations of things I wasn’t aware of. These led me to do some searching and questioning and 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 (first name – redacted for privacy) Lee (family name – redacted for privacy) (legal last name – redacted for privacy), son of Bonnie (maiden name – redacted for privacy) (married last name – redacted for privacy).
I want to assure you that there is nothing wrong, and there is no ill will of any kind. I am simply trying to find some answers to some questions I have regarding some old letters and a photo I was given. It would mean so much to me if you would be willing to talk so that I can gain some answers and some closure. I have prayed deeply on this matter and am trusting God’s guidance. I promise honesty and transparency and look forward to talking with you soon. I’m hoping this email will serve as a better attempt to connect than Facebook. However, please feel free to look at my Facebook page and the message I originally sent you back on March 8. If you need me to resend it, just let me know. I thank you greatly for your time and I hope we can talk soon.
P.S. I will send a photo that was included in the mementos for you to see and perhaps confirm or decline a connection. I will send it in a separate email.”
And now I wait…again…and hope for a reply. And I hope it’s a good reply. I’m trying to remain optimistic but at the same time, I know that we can hope and wish and plan for things but what happens is not always in our control. At least I can proceed knowing I met my self imposed deadline to give this search another nudge and just wait to see what direction the journey will go from here. Faith over fear has helped me get this far.