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Virginia Laura "Ginger" Fleck
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Birth: Apr. 8, 1958
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Apr. 7, 1989

This is my sister whom I never got to know. She and I have the same father. We were separated by adoption when I was relinquished as an infant.

Ginger and I spoke only once when I was trying to locate my birthfather. I did not tell her who I was because I did not want to "out" my birthfather if his family had not been told about me. I used a discreet cover story so as to not compromise anyone, saying that I was a journalism student, and that I wanted to interview her dad for an article I was doing on racecar drivers of the 1950's.

It was amazing to talk with Ginger, because it was like talking with myself. I heard the same "busy" voice I have, full of varying pitches, volumes, emphasis, and sort of a colorful way of speaking. She had an outgoing and generous personality as well, telling me all about her dad, and how he'd be an excellent interview subject.

She was also quite funny, and we got along very well. I could tell she liked me too, we just clicked. I truly was bursting to tell her who I was, to say "I feel it too, and there's a reason." I remember thinking that I would really like to be her friend someday when all this reunion stuff had settled down. After we had a nice long chat, she gave me the phone number I needed.

Alas, the time for Ginger and I never came. Such is the danger of waiting. At first my birthfather wasn't ready to tell his now-adult children, my half-siblings, about me. Then when they were finally told, there were varying reactions. Ginger, from what I've been told, was wholeheartedly interested in meeting me.

Life has a way of getting away from you. Before I knew it, Ginger had moved far away and gotten married, so it didn't seem opportune to try to get to know her at a distance. Then she became sick, and that was hardly the time either, as I watched our father suffer right along with her. Finally she passed away, a hard passing, leaving us the day before her 31st birthday.

From our father, I have gotten a few homemade family videos. When Ginger's face appears, I often freeze the frame and stare. I feel as though I am looking at a foreign, brunette version of myself, though I think she was prettier. She had beautiful highly-arched eyebrows and full lips. Both of us are tall girls. Like me she had times she struggled with her weight, but was always pretty nice looking. It is especially when she was heavy that she looked like me when I too was heavy. We both have high cheekbones and the extra weight added a similar shape to our faces. The very first time I met our mutual dad, I was told "I should have known you were one of mine; you walk just like my other daughters, like you're going through a field of waist-high wheat."

When I look at the gallery of people I found in my reunion, I see pieces of myself in almost everyone, and usually those pieces are tangible. Like one sister, I sit with one hand on my cheek, because we both have found doing so keeps our sinuses open, and we both have suffered from panic attacks. Like another sister, I have an interest in the deaf, am bookish and have an edge to my humor. Like one brother, I am deeply affected by music, and have danced with depression. Like my birth grandparents I have a strong appreciation and love of nature and animals. There's more, but this is enough to illustrate the point.

People who grow up in their biological families take much for granted. Surrounded by varying mirrors of themselves, they understand themselves more easily, who they got what from, what their health issues might be in years to come. Growing up as I did with no one biologically like me, I felt sometimes my "things" were my flukes, and mine alone. No one in my adopted family had a special affinity for music or "adrenaline junkie" things I did like skydiving or flying. All my life, in very hot weather, I'd tried to hide the fact that my head would be sweating terribly; I never grinned more than the day in July when my one biological sister said "I hate this sticky weather, I'm a head-sweater." Wow- you mean it's not just my thing? It feels very good to know I come by who I am honestly. So as in the above examples, I have been able to see these concrete things we share, and be glad for them because it makes me feel grounded, that there are reasons for why I am who I am. They are natural, not by nurture or environment but by nature.

With Ginger I feel a kinship. It is not as concrete as some of the other things I have found in my reunion; it is amorphous, but I feel we have a similar spirit. There's a bounce in our voices, a twinkle in the eye, a readiness to laugh and to see the absurd. There is some inner thing that makes us alike but I don't know what it is, only that it is some essence. Maybe if I'd known her more we'd have found more together over time. All I can tell you is that there's something inborn, some outlook, some response to the world that is kindred. It is what I felt very strongly when we spoke, and what made me want to be her friend.

There's a sense of regret that she died without knowing how much I looked forward to getting to know her. I wonder if she felt the same. I suspect I'd have grown to understand and love her very easily. She's one of the reasons I hope there's a heaven where we get to make right what could not be done on earth.

Ginger married once, had no children, and eventually divorced. On November 5, 1983, she married Leopoldo J. Chavez in a Las Vegas chapel. Leo went by "Manny" and seems to have had his own landscaping business.

Family links: 
  Richard William Fleck (1932 - 2012)
Philadelphia Memorial Park
Chester County
Pennsylvania, USA
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Mar 19, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 49951870
Virginia Laura Ginger Fleck
Added by: sr/ks
Virginia Laura Ginger Fleck
Added by: sr/ks
Virginia Laura Ginger Fleck
Added by: sr/ks
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Thinking of you, as we near your birth and angel days. Gone too soon; hope heaven is giving you all that earth could not.
- sr/ks
 Added: Mar. 31, 2016
A lovely Witch bringing HAPPY HALLOWEEN treats, as Pumpkins begin to smile & Halloween nears.
- purple-lady
 Added: Oct. 25, 2015
sr/ks ~ Heaven is real! I too, believe you and Ginger would have loved each other and been very close! My Mom and I share "Virginia" as middle names...she was known as "Ginger" also.
- Virginia "Ginger"
 Added: Apr. 29, 2015
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