Two Whole Sisters

By

When it comes to sisters, I have the world’s greatest. And I didn’t come by them as easy as others do. Maybe that’s why I appreciate them more. You see, I was twelve when the first one was born. I had been praying for a sister since I was about five-years old, because my best friend, Randy, had two sisters. It was boring being an only child. But what I did not realize at that time was that you needed a Daddy in the picture to make a baby. Heck, no one told me that.

Nevertheless, being the good little Catholic School girl that I was, I sought help from St. Gerard, the patron Saint of Motherhood. I carried this little four by three card around with his picture on the front and a prayer on the back, and I recited it every single day. Not only did I recite it, but also did it on my knees, and Catholics know that gets prayers answered faster…supposedly.

“Dear St. Gerard, powerful intercessor and wonder worker of our day, I call upon thee and seek thy aid.” Yep, I still remember it word for word. But it wasn’t working. Meanwhile another girl friend, Lucille, got seven siblings while I continued to pray for one. Surely they were a good Catholic family not using birth control. But why wasn’t God answering my prayers? And what about St. Gerard? What was wrong with my mom, I wondered? And so I asked her.

After an abbreviated discussion on the facts of life, I realized the only hope for my sister dreams to come true was for my mom to marry Pete, who she had been dating for several years. Even though I did not want to share my Mom with Pete, I was smart enough to put the pieces together: Mom plus Pete makes baby. Somehow.

When I was eight and a half, I was the flower girl as my mom and Pete said “I Do!” I knew that little sister was soon to follow. But it did not happen fast. My mom had fibroid issues and other fertility problems, but I never stopped praying. My knees were killing me, but I was relentless.

Four years later, I was ecstatic when my mom told me the good news of her pregnancy; I immediately predicted that the baby would be a girl, and that she would be born on August 13. I was absolutely right and even got to name her.

Donna Marie united our family with her birth in 1964, the year of the Beatles by the way, as we all cherished and adored her. I was more like her second mother than a sister since I was so much older, but from the day she was born, she has been a treasure. Thank you St. Gerard.

Then, in 1969, I met my birth father for the very first time and low and behold, he was married, and his wife was expecting a baby.

Once again, I predicted a girl. Could I be lucky enough to land another sister? You bet. Cristy Clair was born on February 19, 1970 – a day that will go down in infamy.

Even though I no longer got down on my knees everyday to St. Gerard because he and God had already answered my prayer, I knew they had made it happen again. And I was determined to be an integral part of Cristy’s life, even though this relationship with my newfound father was in its early stages. It saddened me that I would never be able to live with Cristy and watch her grow from day to day to day like I had with Donna, because she lived 600 miles away. However, I knew I loved her and would make the best of every second we could spend together.

Today, I am blessed – very blessed. These two sisters are my best friends. They call me just to chat or for advice. They e-mail me pictures and stories about the funny things their kids do. Both of them recently called me on the morning I was doing my last TV talk show after twenty-three years, knowing how painful it was for me. Yes, even though they have so much going in their own busy lives, they’ve never missed a chance to say, “I love you” and show they care. The fact that I was not able to have children of my own has made these sisters even more precious. I’m so proud of the incredible women they have become, and more so, the outstanding mothers they have become.

Strangely enough, my two sisters are not even related to each other, yet they have grown close just having me as their sister. We’ve shared holidays and birthdays. We’ve shared laughter and tears.

You will never hear me use the word “half sister” when describing either of them. Donna and I may have the same mother, and Cristy and I have the same birth father, but they are my “WHOLE” sisters in every sense of the word, and their love and support has made me “WHOLE.”

About this writer

  • When it comes to sisters, I have the world’s greatest. And I didn’t come by them as easy as others do. Maybe that’s why I appreciate them more. You see, I was twelve when the first one was born. I had been praying for a sister since I was about five-years old, because my best friend, Randy, had two sisters. It was boring being an only child. But what I did not realize at that time was that you needed a Daddy in the picture to make a baby. Heck, no one told me that.

    Nevertheless, being the good little Catholic School girl that I was, I sought help from St. Gerard, the patron Saint of Motherhood. I carried this little four by three card around with his picture on the front and a prayer on the back, and I recited it every single day. Not only did I recite it, but also did it on my knees, and Catholics know that gets prayers answered faster…supposedly.

    “Dear St. Gerard, powerful intercessor and wonder worker of our day, I call upon thee and seek thy aid.” Yep, I still remember it word for word. But it wasn’t working. Meanwhile another girl friend, Lucille, got seven siblings while I continued to pray for one. Surely they were a good Catholic family not using birth control. But why wasn’t God answering my prayers? And what about St. Gerard? What was wrong with my mom, I wondered? And so I asked her.

    After an abbreviated discussion on the facts of life, I realized the only hope for my sister dreams to come true was for my mom to marry Pete, who she had been dating for several years. Even though I did not want to share my Mom with Pete, I was smart enough to put the pieces together: Mom plus Pete makes baby. Somehow.

    When I was eight and a half, I was the flower girl as my mom and Pete said “I Do!” I knew that little sister was soon to follow. But it did not happen fast. My mom had fibroid issues and other fertility problems, but I never stopped praying. My knees were killing me, but I was relentless.

    Four years later, I was ecstatic when my mom told me the good news of her pregnancy; I immediately predicted that the baby would be a girl, and that she would be born on August 13. I was absolutely right and even got to name her.

    Donna Marie united our family with her birth in 1964, the year of the Beatles by the way, as we all cherished and adored her. I was more like her second mother than a sister since I was so much older, but from the day she was born, she has been a treasure. Thank you St. Gerard.

    Then, in 1969, I met my birth father for the very first time and low and behold, he was married, and his wife was expecting a baby.

    Once again, I predicted a girl. Could I be lucky enough to land another sister? You bet. Cristy Clair was born on February 19, 1970 – a day that will go down in infamy.

    Even though I no longer got down on my knees everyday to St. Gerard because he and God had already answered my prayer, I knew they had made it happen again. And I was determined to be an integral part of Cristy’s life, even though this relationship with my newfound father was in its early stages. It saddened me that I would never be able to live with Cristy and watch her grow from day to day to day like I had with Donna, because she lived 600 miles away. However, I knew I loved her and would make the best of every second we could spend together.

    Today, I am blessed – very blessed. These two sisters are my best friends. They call me just to chat or for advice. They e-mail me pictures and stories about the funny things their kids do. Both of them recently called me on the morning I was doing my last TV talk show after twenty-three years, knowing how painful it was for me. Yes, even though they have so much going in their own busy lives, they’ve never missed a chance to say, “I love you” and show they care. The fact that I was not able to have children of my own has made these sisters even more precious. I’m so proud of the incredible women they have become, and more so, the outstanding mothers they have become.

    Strangely enough, my two sisters are not even related to each other, yet they have grown close just having me as their sister. We’ve shared holidays and birthdays. We’ve shared laughter and tears.

    You will never hear me use the word “half sister” when describing either of them. Donna and I may have the same mother, and Cristy and I have the same birth father, but they are my “WHOLE” sisters in every sense of the word, and their love and support has made me “WHOLE.”

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