The funniest part of having an Irish twin, is that one of us remembers things the other had forgotten. Shannon and I have been discussing this father issue (that we have the same mother but different fathers, in spite of what our birth certificates say), and we’ve been reminiscing lately over how our entire lives people have commented on how different we look, and behave, etc
then Shannon said “you know Tara, you used tell me I was adopted”.
(Ouch. Bad sister!)
We both laughed nowof course — over 30 years later through the humorous sands of time we can see now how that it wasn’t that I was trying to be mean,
My telling her she was adopted was my child minded way of trying to process people’s endless comments/jokes/remarks, in a time in my life when sex was years from my comprehension (let alone that someone can ‘cheat’ or ‘have affairs’ or whatever explanations, that could explain why two siblings look nothing alike—
Looking back on those years of the unknown, knowing what we know now, it’s such a huge relief. I didn’t even realize how much we had worried Mom was hiding some kind of big dark secret, until the truth revealed actually a light in an otherwise dark time in her life.
And the truth? that Mom had found someone sympathetic to the abusive situation she was in, a nice guy, someone who cared about her, and perhaps because of the isolating abuse, her age (19), and lack of education and contacts (no high school degree and she wasn’t working),
a nice friend of the man who was abusing her was one of her few, if only, choices available to her for assistance—
And he honored it, he was there for her, but perhaps not to anger his friend, didn’t want to step on any paternity wars with his best friend, so he quietly let his best friend (my father) put his name on his daughter’s birth certificate, probably thinking it would be best for his daughter and for my mother at the time—
Now cut to 30 years later…still best friends, still honoring an unspoken code of silence, until finally the older sister — the one who had internalized all of the teasing comments all of those years, struggling with her own feelings about the sister she loved but looked nothing like her — and now the older sister figures it out, by noticing the one physical feature that always made it 😜*completely* undeniable we were not ‘full blooded’ sisters — her nose — and seeing the exact same nose on her father’s best friend.
The best part of spending time with my sister right now, is this is the first time we’ve spent together where we both know the identiities of our father’s, and it’s a happy ending — her dad, the mysterious unknown figure for so many years — is actually a very nice guy, smart, classily, conscientious, and artistic too.
My sister and I have had our issues over the years (especially being 11 months apart in age), but I’m so glad I figured it out. I feel like it was the best gift I could ever give Shannon, and I’m so glad I lived long enough to give it to her 😍❤️👍💋.
(Especially cuz I was so mean when we were little—I really did owe it to her 🙂