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Gwen's Reunion with her Twin

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Gwen's Reunion with her Twin


Dear Joan

This is Deborah, remember me?! : ) You re-united my mother with her twin sister, after 38 years, in Aug, 2000. August first, to be exact--I'll never forget that e-mail, it said: FOUND, ONE SISTER JEAN AND HER FAMILY. I was beside myself with excitement, and the following day, my mom spoke to her identical twin sister for the first time in 38 years, after they had lost touch with each other in their twenties. With my mom and family being in the US for so long, I'm sure it wasn't easy for you to keep consistently in touch with me and to keep looking even when many doors were shut. You even went so far as to knock on people's doors, to find out if they knew anything about where Jean was; I don't know too many people who would have done that. As you must know, you made an incredible difference in many people's lives that day, you helped re-unite not only twin sisters, but cousins, aunts, and uncles. My mother's life has completely changed, and it brings me much peace to know that when it is her time to go, she'll have the joy of having re-united with her entire family instead of sorrow and regret. That is priceless. As I write, my mom is again visiting her family in England, and she and Jean spend much time on the phone in between visits (Oh, the phone bill!) Two of my aunts and uncles have been here, as well as Jean. Last year, April 28, 2001, Jean came over for their 70th birthdays, and a big party was held. This would not have been possible without you, and no words can describe the joy you have brought. I just wanted to post a thank you on your website, as I don't think I did on this web site before, and you surely deserve at least that. Hope all is going well for you : )
Love, Deborah




UPDATE
Gwen (in California) contacted me at the beginning of October to say she was coming to the UK about the middle of November to spend 6 weeks or so with her family and wanted to meet up with me again. What a honour and priveledge to be remembered. I am so looking forward to meeting all/any of the family. What Gwen is secretly hoping is that her husband loves the UK enough and he understands her need to relocate because Gwen would love to spend her time in England with her family. From what I understand, California enjoys sunshine all year round and Gwen's husband could be in for a surprise and a shock when he arrives in the UK in November. Maybe he has not experienced snow or rain. It could be a novelty but, as most of the residents in the UK know, it can be a bit of a bind year in and out. Loads of things have to be taken into consideration but compromise is the word that makes everything worthwhile.

In the middle of June this year (2000) I, Joan Allan, emailed Deborah who had placed a search on behalf of her mother Gwen. Gwen had lost contact with her twin Jean and her other brothers and sisters about 40 years ago. Gwen had married and gone to live in Canada, eventually she moved to America and remarried.

Jean Cookson/Skinner family - Found July 2000
One million thanks would not be enough for what Joan did for my family and I, especially my mother. My mom's from England, but came to the states many years ago. She lost contact with her twin sister, and other siblings, and hadn't seen any of them for about 38 years! In only two months, Joan found my mom's twin, and my mom had talked to her and her other siblings on the phone within the next couple of days! After trying the Salvation Army, and other websites, (having spent money to no avail), I couldn't believe how quickly Joan found my mom's twin, and how determined she was considering I did not have a whole lot of information to go on. She actually knocks on people's doors to find who is being searched for, and you can tell she does this because she truly loves it. Within 6 weeks after she located my family, we were on a plane to England. After almost 40 years, it was tearful and exciting to get everyone together again; as one of my Aunt's said, it is now complete--the missing sister was found. Thanks again, Joan, there are no words to express the joy you've caused.
Long Beach, CA USA - Monday, October 23, 2000 at 23:33:06 (EDT)

I offered Deborah my help and she took me up on it. It was to prove a difficult one. I decided I would make contact with Jean first and rang practically every Jean Cookson in the UK. I wrote to one that I thought could be the correct one only to find I had no reply. To cut a long story short I found that Jean had moved earlier this year and she had moved to St Leonards. I was very fortunate to eventually make contact with Jean's friend and neighbour who gave me Jean's telephone number. Jean was overjoyed when I spoke to her. I asked if any of the other siblings were out of touch and there was another sister missing. I managed to track her down by contacting a neighbour on the same day. The neighbour was so excited to be involved in such a happy reunion. Lots of tears of joy were shed when they all the siblingsmade contact with Gwen.

On 19 September, 2000, Gwen, her 2 daughters and a granddaughter arrived at Heathrow. I asked if I could be there to greet them and they said "of course, without you this wouldn't have happened". It was so moving for me being a part of this happy and long overdue reunion. I also quickly stepped in as unofficial photographer to take all the momentus snaps. We all retired to the bar so we could all chat together before they started upon a new cycle in their life. I found out from Deborah that the Salvation Army had been asked to do a search also. I started my search for Jean and Co about three months later. The day before they left for the UK the Salvation Army told them they had located Jean.