I just realized I haven't been in contact with you since you made the call to my brother for me. Where do I begin? What a journey have I been on since that day!

My brother and I spoke on the phone several times trying to set a date when we all could get together. Finally, in April, the four siblings got a chance to meet, I drove from Texas, my oldest sister and her husband flew into New Orleans rented a car, drove to Mississippi and picked up my brother and his wife and we all converged on the Hampton Inn in Searcy, Arkansas where our other sister and her husband lived. My sister was too ill to make the trip to Mississippi so we came to her.

Her son in law rented the entire second floor suites including the hospitality suite, the Governor's suite and the Presidential suite for all of us. He paid for everything and wouldn't allow me to pay for anything. My siblings embraced me as if they had known me my entire life! The sister that was so ill and I met first before the others arrived. When she walked in the room I felt like I was viewing myself in 17 years. We looked just alike. She walked up to me, patted my cheek and said "its me! She looks just like me!" Everyone in the room was in tears except the two of us. All we could do was hug each other and laugh. 

When the others arrived we all were greeting one another in the hospitality room. My brother in law asked my oldest sister and my brother if they could tell by looking at me who my father was. Everyone said at the same time that they could. They are pretty sure my father was one of my birth mother's best friends who work on the pipelines. His name was Ray Fickle. I have a picture of him and I do look like a combination of he and my mother. It is unreal. They both were 1/4 Cherokee Indian and all of the kids have the high Native American cheekbones and other features. We all tan quickly and have a bit of a red tinge in our coloring even though we have different fathers. 

My sister who was in poor health passed away one month after our meeting. I didn't get to go to the funeral but did talk on the phone a lot before her death. My niece told me the day her mother died she talked about me and how much it meant to her that we met. She also told my niece that I would be taking her place in my niece's life. I have too. We have become very close. I am flying up to visit them in September.

Thank you for your persistence in your search for my family. It could not have turned out any better than this. My life is complete and finally whole. 

Sincerely,

Mary #243729