ODESSA, Texas — It's been a long year, with the pandemic forcing us all into our homes and physically separating us from life as we've known it.
However, the time apart has brought one family closer than ever.
Angela Martinez spent quarantine looking for her long lost sister, while Lois Wysong was searching for her father. Each was using this time to piece together missing parts of their family, and through all of this, they found each other.
A few months ago the two women were total strangers, living on opposite sides of the country. Today, they're sisters and always have been, they just didn't know it.
"My mom had told me that I had a sister but that's all that she said,” said Martinez.
After years of wondering, she finally took action. Martinez’s daughter bought her a DNA test kit with hopes of finding her sister.
Wysong did the same thing at her home in Florida. She too was looking for family.
"I had originally gone on Ancestry looking for my father because I had never known who my father was,” said Wysong.
The kit led them to each other.
"I knew that I did have a sister but when it compared our DNA it said that she could be my grandma, aunt,” Martinez said.
"Yeah there were several but I was like, I know I'm not her grandmother,” said Wysong.
After finding each other, Wysong traveled from Florida to Odessa so Martinez could take her to meet their father. This visit was urgent-their father has dementia and his good days are getting farther apart.
After years of wondering and questions, all of it finally answered.
"My eyes are a different color than all of my family. I just thought that I must have my dad's eyes. I've never met him in my 61 years and now I'm about to meet him,” Wysong said.
Their father lives in a nursing facility, and he recently recovered from COVID-19. They could only meet with glass between them and over the phone, but the moment was still just as sweet and important.
"This is the last part of my life and God knew that there was a couple of things that I needed to do before I join him and one of them was to find my father. That one is here now…I can go now!" said Wysong.
If the past six months have taught us anything, it's that time is precious. Angela Martinez, Lois Wysong and their father reminded us of that this week.