Sisters Meet After 65-year Absence
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 14, 2004
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA--Here is one reason I love my job: I get to share with you wonderful, bittersweet stories like this one about Irene Pinole.
This weekend, Irene met her sister, Olga, for the first time in 65 years.
Two weeks ago, the Sacramento Bee featured a story about Irene, a local artist with Down syndrome who lives in a group home. The story mentioned that Irene, 76, had been taken by her parents to an institution when she was 11 years old. As commonly happened in those days, the family then tried to forget about Irene.
But the story was spotted by several relatives, including Olga, who now lives near Medford, Oregon.
Olga, now 69, was just four years old when her big sister was taken away. As the years went on, Olga tried to find out what had happened to Irene, but was told that she had died.
"I've been looking for you, honey!" Olga said to Irene on her visit.
"I've been right here in Sacramento," Irene replied.
Related stories with photos:
'I have a family, too' (Sacramento Bee, June 13)
"At long last, family finds Irene Pinole" (Sacramento Bee, June 6)
"The art of survival" (Sacramento Bee, May 30)