Beyond the Byline: More ‘sister firsts’ to come

Beyond the Byline - Geri Gibbons | October 4th, 2017 6:48 pm

Sometimes I feel like my life is a movie filled with more suspense, love and challenge than I could have ever imagined.

For example, finding a “long lost family” after 50 years seems to be the stuff of fiction, but it did happen to me and it has been a wild ride.

After finding my sisters through Facebook about five years ago, I finally got to meet my (half) sister Lydie at the beach last year, where my children said we were “just alike.”

It’s true. Except for my family, I never met anyone I could be comfortable with on the spot. We shared a love for reading, for walking and for politics — although, we’re not on the same side of every issue.

Spring found Lydie and me on a cruise ship heading to the Caribbean and laughing — a lot.

For example, on the elevator heading up to our cabin, someone asked us how we were related. We said, “sisters.”

“I bet you planned this for a long time,” the person said.

We both smiled and held in our laughter.

I wanted to say, “Not that long; we’ve only known each other for five years.”

Our dinner arrangements also provided us with opportunity for a bit of levity. We were seated with six other people, and seemed to be quite popular.

The only thing was — we would rather have been listening to music or watching a movie on the wide screen than sitting for an entire hour making chit chat.

So, instead, we would “visit” dinner, so as not to offend the others, grabbed a cold drink and stayed for a few minutes.

The thing is — our friends really seemed to like us and we liked them. To them, we were simply sisters traveling together.

There was also a time a cab driver in Honduras felt it was appropriate to drive and Facebook at the same time while traveling down a very windy road.

Lydie, appropriately said, “If you need to do that, you could pull over.”

“On the other hand, you could just stop Facebooking altogether for right now,” I said, a bit more sarcastically.

Recently, we again spent two weeks together, enjoying not only the Jersey shore with my children and Niagara Falls, but a historical festival in Pittston and a presentation at the Meeting House in Forty Fort.

Seeing our area through Lydie’s eyes, I gained a new appreciation for our historical roots and autumn foliage which surrounds the towns of the Greater Pittston area with hues of orange and gold.

After our time spent together, we summarized how many sights we had seen and how many activities we had participated in, until we simply gave up because the list was so long.

The Corning Museum of Glass and Cape May, New Jersey were among our favorites.

But it was a photo shoot on the beach with the kids that won our hearts.

Next year, my children and I are planning to head out to Lydie’s neck of the woods to meet my sister Connie, my niece, Patti, and, hopefully, my sister, Tina, in Denver, Colorado.

Lydie’s eyes get big when she talks about the Rocky Mountains, art museums and even her granddog, a Dachshund named Frankie.

At one point, following Lydie onto the boat that would take us to see an illuminated Niagara Falls after dark, I found myself wishing I would have met her sooner.

But, looking out at the falls on that unseasonably warm September night, I realized that our lives have unfolded just as they were meant to and there are more “sister firsts” to come.

Beyond the Byline

Geri Gibbons

Geri Gibbons, a resident of West Wyoming, is a correspondent for the Sunday Dispatch.