To Tan or Not to Tan
Tim Russert


In January, 1999 I learned that I had an 82 year old half-sister named Florence. Apparently, my father had had a family that I knew nothing about before marrying my mother.

I was shocked.

Two months later, I met Florence with whom I share a father, and I have seen her several times in New York City since. I have also met her daughter Amy, my half-niece, who is my age and lives in Minneapolis. Amy has a brother, my half-nephew, who raises sheep somewhere in Oregon. I had not met him until Sunday, when we attended the wedding of Florence's grandson David, my half-grand nephew, whose bride Sarah happened to go to my children's high school.

Now 91, Florence was a star of the event. All the guests on the groom's side were so happy to see her, still looking as beautiful as they remember. She introduced me to everyone as her sister. Her sheep farmer son turned out to be charming and interesting.

Life is full of surprises.


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I love this little story. I actually have a fortysomething nephew I have only met once in my life. We are educated, nonviolent people, but there was animosity as well as long distance between my brother and his wife of six months, so there you have it. Your photo is beautiful, by the way.

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