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She Brought Them Together / Nick Ehrhardt

She Brought Them Together

A phenomenon we often notice while reading Guest Books here at is the way a death can bring a family together. As family members support each other through grief and work together to tie up the loose ends of a loved one's life, they can become closer than they ever were.

We think it's heartwarming that something good can come from something so sad… and that's why we were especially charmed by the story of Ruth and Dorothy Flick.

The two sisters were separated by tragedy when Dorothy, the younger, was just two years old. When their parents divorced and their father left, their desperate single mother put two of her children up for adoption. Dorothy was one of them. Once life stabilized, her mother tried to bring her children back from the orphanage, but Dorothy had already been adopted. All the family had left of her was a single photo taken of Dorothy holding hands with her two-years-older sister, Ruth.

Dorothy Bush (Altoona Mirror)Flash forward 101 years. Having lived a long life with the family she created, Dorothy died at age 103 in August of 2012. Her children, knowing the story of her birth family and wondering if they might be able to find more information, included a brief bit of adoption information in her obituary, along with the names of her biological parents.

Quite by chance, Ruth's daughter Joan – whose mother died almost 30 years ago – happened to read that obituary. The situation rang a bell, and as she put the pieces together, she realized she was reading the obituary of the aunt she'd never met.

Joan – who, along with her siblings, had tried in vain to find the aunt from the old photo in the past – went to Dorothy's funeral. She was welcomed with open arms, and the cousins are now planning visits and including each other in family reunions.

Though Dorothy and Ruth never met again after that long-ago adoption, their families are back together.