sarah reasoner grey

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Dear Sarah

By: sarah reasoner grey
Posted in: Advice

Dear Sarah,  

I am an only child who has been married to a man (Bud E.) for 24 years, he has 2 younger sisters who are still unmarried and we have one daughter who is a special needs young adult. Until recently my husband Bud was always saying that he wished he had a brother to spend some at home time with, to be with to go fishing and hunting in the Fall. It was always especially hard at holiday time as he was always the only man. He has long been estranged from his mother and his father died of pancreatic cancer five years ago. So it has been hard on him. He works very hard on the third shift at IBM (12 hour shifts). About five years ago around the time his father died we got a phone call from an unknown caller who started the conversation on the answering machine about how her husband was looking for a brother he had never met. So I quickly picked up and said hello, and this woman was speechless for a moment before she told me the whole story. She used my husband's name, knew his mother's name and wanted to meet Bud now that his father had passed. This couple lived only a short distance from Bud's father and thought of him as a nice neighbor. The father kept track of this son though. To shorten a long story, Bud's mother never told him she had a baby boy before she married Bud's father. It was a secret she kept from everyone except his father who was also Bud's father. They sold that baby to another family, but before Bud's father died he spoke with the brother and told him everything including Bud's name and address and phone number. So, suddenly Bud had the brother he had always wanted and he has a nice wife too. They became joined at the hip and even looked alike but then the brother also came down with pancreatic cancer and recently died. How sad for my husband, all those years were wasted.  I am not asking for any advice but am trying to tell people to not withhold such information about siblings from their children because it is cruel. Poor Bud at least got a few years to enjoy his brother and his wife and so did I but like I said too many years were wasted when they could have known each other and enjoyed life together. 

Signed, Sad 


Dear Sad, 

This is an amazing story that I find particularly interesting in that your father in law stayed in touch with all of his children. How wonderful that he thought to connect you all before he died, although I do wonder why he waited so long to do this. I find it even more amazing that your in laws kept such a huge secret for so long, but it probably had a lot to do with the presumably illegal sale of their first baby.  

Thank you for writing your story, and I sincerely hope that your husband will find peace with his remembrances of the times he spent with his brother. 


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Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 12/10/16 01:44:21AM @perrie-halpern:

What an amazing and touching story. It is a shame that they didn't get more time together, but at least they had what they had. Very touching tale and one I am sure is being played out in families all over. A good cautionary tale. 

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link 12/04/16 03:08:17PM @dowser:

I'm very glad that the father-in-law did the right thing, and told his son that he had a brother-- and the two had time together.  Secrets are often harmful to other family members, and there may have been very good reasons for not telling the man sooner-- shame at having sold a baby, etc.  

It is always sad, to think of love lost-- and sad to wish for things that might have been.  I hope the husband feels fortunate to have had the time he had with his brother, and that his mother also finally got some peace-- although it sounds as if she was never forgiven-- or to have forgiven herself-- over this act.  I hope that the mother and son can somehow resolve their troubles, and can be good to one another.  Maybe it's just not meant to be-- but all of us need forgiveness and all of us need our families.  

Sad situation!

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