SOLON, Ohio — Last week we introduced you to Rene' Scarpa of Solon, who had been longing to find the sisters she last saw 55 years ago.
"Most of my family is gone. My immediate family has all passed. I lost my dad when I was four. I lost my mom when I was 33," Rene' Scarpa told us.
Losing her loved deepened Rene's need to find the half sisters she last saw more a half century ago after their father's tragic death. For so long, Rene' sat back, believing her silence was better for their hearts.
"So it's a balance you're looking for: you have your needs, but they're not going to be met if you stump on someone else's. So, that's what I was always struggling with," Rene' said.
But as the saying goes, you'll never know unless you try. After Rene' reached out to us, our search angel, Janet Rinardo Travis got to work. Tricky case, because more than a half-century had passed. But then, a hit. Janet located Rene's sister, Connie Cruz, in Illinois. And her sister, Vicki Dumdei, in Iowa.
They are both mothers, and loving sisters to one another. And, there was wonderful news: They had been thinking about their little sister Rene' their whole lives. The two sisters agreed to surprise Rene' on a Zoom call.
Janet, myself, Connie and Vicki waited for Rene' to join. After she did, she said, "Hi," not knowing that two of the women on the call, were her sisters.
After sharing the news with her, Rene' broke down in tears.
"I'm shocked ... in a great way," Rene' said.
Janet then explained how she found Rene's family.
"When (Rene') wrote in, she gave us a lot of clues for me to start a family tree. And, I took your father's name and I took her mother's name and your mother's name. And I started the family tree," Janet said to the three sisters.
Vicki shared her feelings about the reunion. Speaking to Rene', she said:
"Oh, it's wonderful. You know, I'm scanning pictures for my sons and I have a picture of you. You must have been to visit us a few times."
"Oh, this is just amazing to me," Rene' answered.
Decades of wondering if her sisters thought of her, finally answered.
"You were definitely thought of. Whenever I heard the name or we went through Albuquerque. This is quite remarkable," Connie said.
"I have a son in Phoenix and every time I drove through Albuquerque, I wish I'd known how to get ahold of you," Vicki said.
"I had been told that you guys really hadn't wanted to connect. And so I respected that," Rene' said to her sisters.
"Rene', we never not wanted you in our lives," Connie replied.
When asked to describe how she felt, Rene' had trouble finding the words.
"I can't hardly. It's a reality that I felt for so long that it's really hard to get my mind wrapped around a different reality, but it's a great problem to have, you know what I mean? I'll work with it!" Rene' said.
Connie then said to her sister, "I wish I could hug you right now." Vicki said, "Me too."
A bittersweet reunion: Mourning the years lost, but hopeful for a fresh start.
"It makes me sad. But, we're here, you know? We have the future and you know, we'll see where it goes from there. Vicky and I are very open and so we are welcoming you to our crazy little group," Connie said to Rene'.
"Thank you. Yes, it's an honor. Thank you," Rene' replied.
Three hearts, together again. Now, open and ready to rebuild, and reconnect.
Are you someone looking for a long lost family member? Janet Rinardo Travis and her partner Lynette Caton Bryan can help. Click HERE to learn more about their services. Both, are certified search angels with the national group, Search Squad.
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