My parents were divorced when I was quite young – five, maybe – and my mother and I left New York and moved to Oklahoma. She wanted no contact with my father, so I grew up knowing almost nothing about him.There were times in my teenage years when I yearned to find him. And that yearning waxed and waned through the years.In my late 40s, I decided to make an intense and sustained effort to find him. Surely if I searched hard enough on the Internet, he could be found. And so I mailed or emailed every Governale I could find, hoping to locate, at the very least, a relative.No luck. I was amazed at how many Governales there were who were not related to me.One person seemed like a good candidate. Her first name was the same as that of my grandmother.I wrote her an email saying, hi, I think we might be related. Cousins, possibly. I gave her my father’s name and what info I had about him.She wrote back with the stunning news that we were not cousins, we were brother and sister. I can’t express how lovely it is to suddenly have a sister. There was, however, a complication.Years earlier, Dad had married a woman younger than himself. She was a good Catholic and he kept from her the unsettling news that he had been married before and had had a child.My father and his wife lived a happy life. They had a daughter. Enjoyed Christmases, vacations, and other family events.When my sister and I discovered each other, my stepmother was firm in her cherished belief that dad was her one and only. Dad didn’t want any contact with me or for his wife to know of my existence. My sister and I decided that the kindest thing we could do is keep the secret.When my father died, we continued to hide my existence. My family and I visited my sister a number of times, but without her mother knowing.When my stepmother died, I was finally able to make myself known to long-lost cousins and other relatives on the Governale side.I told you all that so I could tell you this.In the great nurture vs nature debate, my sister and I were stunned at the power of nature. We grew up apart, yet were so much alike. Our tastes in music, literature, and movies were very similar. It’s as if we grew up in the same house.Both of us have above average computer skills.Also, we are both writers. She is an accomplished and sought-after technical writer who can explain complicated things in clear, precise language. I’ve always prided myself on a similar ability.We write short stories, often in the realm of horror or fantasy.We share an odd-ball sense of humor.It astounds us the sorts of things that can be imprinted on DNA. A love of science fiction? Really?

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: