It was instant love.
As they held hands at Methodist Fremont Health this week, that’s how Doris Crippen described her feelings when she learned that the medication assistant at her rehabilitation facility was the sister she had been searching for, for years.
Crippen, 73, had last seen and held Bev Boro 53 years ago when she was just a few months old.
“It’s really amazing,’’ Crippen said. “It’s very overwhelming after so many years.’’
The sisters, part of a group of 10 siblings, were separated by the state more than a half-century ago. They knew about each other but their father married three times, the kids eventually spread out as far as Arizona, and for both, hope grew dim that they would ever find everyone.
Then Boro spotted a name she recognized during her shift at Dunklau Gardens, which is attached to the hospital.
Crippen had tested positive for COVID-19 in early May and was hospitalized. She has recovered, but was being treated for a broken arm, the result of a fall while she was ill.
“I thought, ‘Gosh, I know that name.’ And then it hit me,” Boro said. “I think that’s my sister.”
Boro decided to visit Crippen’s room during her shift that night. Her heart was racing but there wasn’t a shadow of a doubt in her mind. It was indeed her sister.
Crippen is deaf, so Boro wrote out the name of their father on a dry-erase board and held it up for Crippen to see.
She replied: “That’s my daddy.”
Boro then mimicked rocking a baby. Crippen said she looked at Boro and then studied her some more.
“She looks a lot like my real dad,’’ she said. “I got the big eyes, but I don’t have the brown eyes like him.’’
Boro was excited to tell her oldest sister about some of their other siblings and lots of nieces and nephews. Between the combined marriages of their father and mothers, there are 16 kids in all. One brother died in February and Boro hasn’t yet been able to find four others.
She got teary-eyed just talking about discovering Crippen.
“This is the year that changed everything,’’ she said.
They’ve been catching up whenever Boro has a few spare moments on one of her shifts. Crippen is eager to recover and return to her apartment in Omaha, which she left in early May.
The mother of three says they’ll have more time to connect then. They're talking about planning a family reunion, too.
Crippen couldn’t sleep that first night after meeting Boro, who lives in Craig, Nebraska. She wonders if they would have ever found each other if she hadn’t gotten the virus or if she hadn’t needed rehab because of her broken arm.
“It was God’s work that did this. It was God’s blessing that I was sent here,’’ Crippen said. “We don’t have to search any more. The journey is over.’’
Feel-good moments in Nebraska amid the pandemic
Videos: Feel-good moments in Nebraska amid the pandemic
Nebraskans have shown a wealth of emotions while facing the coronavirus pandemic. We have unleashed a wave of creativity to adapt in the world of social distancing.
Watch a few bright moments our staff has collected while telling the story of this unprecedented period in history.
Mom surprises senior with graduation party that included a band and a food truck
A mariachi band performs for healthcare workers outside OneWorld Community Health Center in Omaha on Friday, May 8, 2020. The clinic has been …
The Nebraska National Guard helps with a food drive at the Food Bank for the Heartland.
Kyle and Jess McMindes experience a social distancing wedding on Saturday, April 25, 2020. About 75 cars full of family and friends surprised …
The American Muslim Institute, would usually host a dinner for hundreds in the Omaha Muslim community, but such large gatherings are impossibl…
Three friends gather for a little social distancing dance party in Omaha.
Restaurants and bars in Nebraska are finding new ways to reach their customers amid social distancing.
A group of Omaha area inventors are using their 3D printers to help make face shields for health care workers.
The Seder is a ritual dinner to mark the beginning of Passover, which began on April 8. The free kits and were available for delivery for anyo…
Nite Owl has been writing personal notes to customers and offering specials, like the Social Distance Daiquiri, while offering curbside take-o…
Teresa Elliott is surprised by her family on her final day of breast cancer radiation treatment outside her home in Omaha on Thursday, March 2…
The Nebraska Humane Society is holding a sale on adoption fees that will extend until further notice, as they try to get as many animals into …
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