A woman discovers that her best friend from childhood is actually her sister.
In 1962, 16 year-old Irene Love of Los Angeles, California, was home alone one Saturday afternoon exploring a box she found in her mother’s bedroom:
Minnie and Forrest Love had no children of their own, so they were thrilled with their newly adopted daughter. Irene’s parents gave her everything, even a best friend. Dolores Ford was one year older than Irene, and the only child of her parents’ best friends. Irene said they became inseparable:
Irene’s mother asked her to think back to her childhood. She asked her to recall Clifton’s, the restaurant they had gone to every Sunday. Now Irene’s mother explained why they had always gone to the same place. Irene’s birth mother, Ramona, worked at the cafeteria. This was her only opportunity to watch Irene grow up.
At some point, Irene’s birth father, Glenn, began to work at Clifton’s too. The Loves would sit at different tables in the restaurant each week so both Glenn and Ramona could see the daughter that they had been too poverty-stricken to raise themselves. Irene says she understood their predicament:
When Irene was 10 years old, her friend’s mother died. Suddenly, Dolores seemed to vanish into thin air. Irene never saw her again. Years later, Irene’s mother finally explained what had happened to her friend. Dolores’ father took her to live with Glenn and Ramona, the couple who worked at Clifton’s cafeteria. But why? Finally, the shocking news came out: Dolores was also Glenn and Ramona’s child. Delores and Irene were sisters. Irene was stunned and felt an even stronger urge to reunite with Dolores.
After both of her adoptive parents died, Irene found herself drawn back to the old neighborhood, reliving her happy childhood with Dolores:
When she was 10, Dolores Ford moved to Second Street in downtown Los Angeles to live with Glenn and Ramona Wynn. Dolores’ last known address was also in the Los Angeles area.