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Long Lost Judy

Johnny Jones, 11 January 2003

When Bryan was home the mystery about Michael Knight's long-lost sister came up in conversation. When I told Bryan what I knew in the story, he responded, "You should write about that!"

He was right. Here is the first part of Michael's story:

My mother and father met and married one another later in their lives - my Dad was 43. He had been married before and had two daughters. Much bitterness remained from the previous marriage, so my father had essentially no contact with his two daughters as they grew up and had their own families.

But my father always carried around in his wallet an old back and white photo of his two daughters. From time to time he would said to me, "Mike, you remind me of Judy."

When you say that, you incite a child's curiosity. I told myself that one day I would meet Judy.

I tried in 1994. I had Judy's married name from my mother, and an address in St. Louis. I went to the house, but the home was in its second owner since Hoyt and Judy left there in 1985, and the owners knew nothing about them.

As I was approaching 50, I wanted to try again to tie up some loose ends of my life. Around April or May our daughter Elyssa called. She saw a TV show about using the InterNet to find lost loved ones. I put his name in and came up with a Hoyt R. Shelly in Plano, TX. I knew my father had spent years there - he owned a string of dry cleaners around Dallas - so I sent an e-mail to a niece in the Dallas area to get an address and phone number.

But she didn't get a ZIP. More time went by until I got some confirmation about Judy's maiden name.

It was "Knight." When I learned that, I immediately went downstairs and wrote a long letter, 4 or 5 pages, letting her know who I was and asking is she could be my sister.

She wrote back to me. The opening line brought joy to my heart: "Dear Michael, Yes you are my bother. I've always wanted to meet my brothers."

Those are some of the sweetest words I've ever read. I learned that our sister Carolyn died two years before, but Judy was amenable to a visit.

God has simply been so good to me to let me be able to find my sister.

This is part I in a series. I'll let you know next week how the meeting went, and the remarkable family history Michael uncovered when he met his sister in July.

Part 2