The things you don't know about your parents.
About five years ago, my five sisters and I found out that my Dad had been married before he met my Mom.
Surprise, surprise, surprise.
And not just married, but had had two daughters.
Clearly he shoots only X chromosomes.
When this tidbit was revealed to my sisters and me, there was much hair-tearing and chest-pounding by the other five
Most of them were appalled to learn about my Dad's former life.
I just thought it was interesting that I suddenly had two half sisters. And after years of my Dad referring to me as #1 daughter, I now knew I was really his third.
And then today I unexpectedly got to meet one of them during a routine visit to my parents' house.
She walked into the room and looked at me wide-eyed, like she'd seen the second coming.
I introduced myself and she hugged me. Hard. She told me how excited she was to finally meet me.
Naturally,I looked at her for signs of similarity. After all,we have the same father so surely there would be some resemblance.
After all, my five sisters and I are all variations on a theme.
Not really. She's blond and blue-eyed liked my dad, where I'm brown eyed and haired like my Mom. She was very slender where my sisters and I are curvy.
She asked me a million questions about my life, where I lived and, most surprisingly, kept referencing my Richmond grandmother, the queen of the biscuits and the fried chicken.
It had never occurred to me that, of course, she would have known or heard about her father's mother.
I talked to her, trying to sense what we might have in common. First off, I discovered, we both live in Richmond.
Conversation and a walk ruled out commonalities in politics, lifestyle, temperament or just about everything.
Still, I had the pleasure of meeting a half-sister after a lifetime of not even knowing she existed.
Because goodness knows, five sisters wasn't enough and I needed one more.
The most striking part of the day was hearing (essentially) a stranger call my Dad "Dad," just like I do.
And I'm fine with that. My Dad taught me a love of books, writing and conversation.
He once referred to me as "a work of art born of love" and I realize how lucky I am to have been raised by a man like that.
Unlike my half sister.
She more than deserves to call him Dad. We both do.