In October of 2009 I wrote a post lamenting my lack of sisters. Back then, I had no hope of finding the three older sisters who had been lost to me for most of my life. I knew that I had sisters somewhere, but missed having sisters.
Recently, I realized that I’m not getting any younger, and at the top of my bucket list was seeing my sisters again. It had been more than 50 years since we had been together. Thanks to the internet and some very kind cousins, my dream came true and last night I spent hours on the phone in a 3-way call with my two remaining sisters. Sadly, Lana, the oldest sister has passed away. The three of us had so much to say, rehashed so many old memories, tried to clear up some long-standing mysteries. We have lots more to talk about.
The catalyst for my reunion with my family was a query I posted on Gen.forum. There are forums for hundreds of surnames there, and I found the forum for my grandmother’s maiden name and asked about her. One of my distant cousins saw my query, and emailed me, telling me that she could get me in touch with my family. The rest is history. I’ve reconnected with my very large Hawaiian ohana. My children and grandchildren now have roots.
Once I started getting names I began typing them in to the search box on Facebook. I found so many of my cousins that way. Facebook was responsible for getting me connected with my niece, who in turn helped me contact her mother, my sister.
Next on the bucket list is a family reunion in Hawaii. I want my kids to go and meet their Hawaiian relatives.
For now, I’m so grateful to be getting to know my sisters, Julie and Patricia.
Eme (Amy) Hobbs Mahikoa
Family ties have always been important to me, but not always a priority. As I was growing up I was able to maintain hit and miss relationships with my parents and siblings. My fraternal grandmother was a constant in my life and I felt her presence, knowing she was there to give me the family connection that I often needed.
My parents had their own misguided reasons for flitting in and out of my life. Much of their reasoning was flawed and they were self-centered and self-righteous when they tried to justify their lack of parenting skills.
I learned very early in my life that if I was going to have a strong, loving family I would have to create my own. There were so many missteps and failures along the way. I had learned the wrong lessons from my own parents and had to relearn from better role models.
Today, I do have that strong and loving family I yearned for as a child. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, with lots of help from many people.
Some years ago I was able to reconnect with my two younger half brothers and their families. They’re great guys. I’ve become re-acquainted with distant cousins, heard many family stories that I vaguely remember from childhood, and I’ve visited some of the places I remember from when I was young. It feels so good to be a part of a family’s history. These people and memories are all from my dad’s family. My mother’s family has been more mysterious.
My mother was born and raised in Hawaii, and was half Hawaiian. Although we were in close contact in the years before she died, she never spoke of her family, and I knew not to ask. Several months ago I posted a query on a genealogy forum for the surname of my Hawaiian grandmother. Eventually, I got an email from a cousin, who was able to connect me with family members who had done the genealogical footwork and who sent me all of that information and even pictures via email. I was thrilled to get all of the information, going back many generations, but more excited to connect with close family. I have 2 aunts still living, and many 1st cousins. I have 2 half sisters, and nieces and nephews.
Why is this so exciting and important to me? Because I really wanted to connect all of the dots for my children and grandchildren. I didn’t want to leave them wondering who they are and where they come from. I want them to be reassured that there are generations of family behind them, and we know who they were. We have answers.