The night before we departed I had a meeting to go to at church. Strangely enough no one told me the meeting had been canceled so there I sat... waiting. My time was not wasted tho'. I sat in the quiet of the sanctuary & prayed - poured out my heart to God. "God... I'm putting this in Your hands. You know what I want... but I'm selfish & want this for selfish reasons. If this is not in Your plan... I will understand, I won't be happy about it but I will be a 'big girl' and accept it."
Our plane landed at Logan Airport in Boston, mid-August, hot & humid. We grabbed our luggage, hailed a cab & checked into our room at the hotel. With a stack of 1000 fliers (have you seen this woman - with a photo of her from about 1973 on it) we boarded the first bus that came along. After getting on it occured to us that we should ask if this bus went anywhere near the address we had for her. It didn't... but the woman sitting behind us asked what address we were trying to get to & told us that was within 2 blocks of where she lived & she would get us on the right bus! An angel? We left a couple fliers on that bus, got on the "right" bus... left a couple more on that bus. When we got to her street we put fliers on windshields of cars parked on the street as we found our way to the address we had. Unfortunately it was a secured building & we could not get in. Down the street, where we'd gotten off the bus, there was a pharmacy. We went in to buy some tape to put fliers on doors, gates, poles - wherever we could. My brother decided to ask the pharmacist if they had a fax machine we could use to send a note to the PI. It was evident that he had told the pharmacist why we were there. As I came around the corner, having purchased the tape, the pharmacist stopped dead in his tracks. He looked at me & said, "You're Connie's daughter!".
At this point (this is before HIPPA) he told us that she got her prescriptions filled there and that he could call her & ask her to come to the pharmacy. Another Angel? He placed the call... she wasn't there but her roommate answered the phone. The pharmacist asked him if he could come to the pharmacy. He could. As he walked into the the store he glanced at me - my eyes were behind dark sunglasses so he really couldn't look at me. He headed back to the pharmacy desk; my brother & the pharmacist were telling him who we were & why we were there when I came around the corner again. I removed my sunglasses & before I could introduce myself he said, "You're Connie's daughter!". Twice in about 20 minutes! The three of us went next door to the coffee shop to visit.
We went back to their apartment... a horrible, dirty apartment that reeked of cigarette smoke & litter boxes. We spent nearly two hours there without her returning. We finally talked him into taking us to her... at a nearby hospital. It seems she got terrible migraines that lasted for days & she'd go to the clinic at the hospital to get a pain shot. He said the shots left her "foggy". He also noted that she had left her prescription glasses on the counter - they bothered her when she had migraines.
After telling the receptionist who we were & why we were there, her roommate asked to see her (she was in an exam room) and they generously allowed us to go into the exam room next to the one she was in. We could hear muffled talking - and then a scream - and the word "NO"!!!! He left her room quickly, opened the door to the room we were in & told us he was leaving. We were stunned! What do we do now?
We left... at least as far as the front door of the hospital. By now, the rain Boston was supposed to get that morning was now coming down - not just sprinkling but POURING!!! We were so hurt. Crushed. Why didn't she want to see us? We waited... and waited. Finally - from the clinic door emerged a short little woman with a large umbrella & a handbag that was nearly as big as she was! She walked to the bus stop. This was our chance... maybe our only chance? We held hands, ran thru the rain & skidded around the corner of the bus stop, sliding onto the bench on the opposite side. What do we do now? We huddled, soaked from the rain, whispering.
Out of the blue she said, "Our seats are getting wet!". She was right! She introduced herself. Racing thoughts! The name she had given me, the name on my birth certificate, was not the name I have now. My brother goes by a nickname. We introduced ourselves. She didn't turn & run. Not even an eyebrow raised. We presumed that between the shot & not having her glasses she really couldn't see us very well? We began visiting - about the weather, about flying in that morning & "getting lost", about not having had anything to eat since we were on the plane several hours before. We had found out from her friend that she liked Tex-Mex food... so we asked if she knew of a good place to eat. She did... and proceeded to tell us which bus & train to get on to get there! About that time a bus pulled up & her friend got off. You can imagine the look on his face when he saw us sitting with her engaged in conversation! She told us that was her friend Steve... my brother ran back out into the rain & "introduced" himself to Steve & whispered not to blow our cover! Having made the proper "introductions" we asked them if they'd like to have dinner with us as we'd not be able to find the restaurant. She said they really couldn't afford it - to which my brother replied, "We'd love to treat you to dinner" - of course, they couldn't turn that down. We took the bus & the train then walked a couple blocks to the restaurant, gave our name to the girl at the podium & went to the bar for a much needed adult beverage!
We sat at the bar visiting... oblivious to everything & everyone around us. The girl at the podium was calling "Briggs, party of four"... it finally dawned on us that that was us! We went to our table, ordered our food & while waiting for our food my brother played "Twenty Questions" with our mother. I felt a bit left out, but I had no questions to ask that would have hinted to my identity. It was interesting to watch. We sat in the restaurant for nearly four hours just visiting. We finally decided we should leave... but not before making a "date" for the next day for sightseeing. She hugged both of us & thanked us for dinner. We got on the bus... in total disbelief. We had just spent about 5 hours with her... and it appeared that she didn't know who we were.
Back at our hotel room we began making phone calls to family members. Sometime during our phone calls we had an incoming call, our message light was on. It was Steve. "Wally, it's Steve. Call me at this number." We called... and she answered!