Lisa Bouler Daniels (LBD): I kinda ambushed you. I showed up at your church. And I remember asking you did you have a few minutes; I wanted to talk to you privately. ‘Cause you didn’t know that you had a sister. No idea.
Ben Chambers (BC): No inkling. No hint. No — no nothing. It was shocking. It felt like I was staring at my mother — cheekbones, eyes. Even all the way down through chosen career path. Her being a teacher. You being a teacher. So I called my sister Camille and I said, ’Is it possible that mom had a daughter before all of us?’ And so she was like, ’Well, I’m calling Dad.’ And him sharing that they wrestled with wanting to tell us.
BC: And especially when she got sick. When was the right time to say something?
LBD: Mm-hmm. You know once I found out that I am a — the result of a sexual assault, that kinda took me for a loop. And so, I struggled with, maybe I should have stayed away. Now all of the pain and the sadness that goes along with my very existence is out in the open.
BC: I remember crying every day thinking through what our mother had to go through. And — and really thinking about how we were raised and how protective she was. And now fully understanding why.
BC: I remember being a child and, you know, going to the park to play baseball or basketball and having to check in. Giving us the stranger speech over and over. Not being able to go to a friend’s house or birthday party unless she met everybody.
LBD: You know, to have a child under the circumstances that I was born. And then go on to marry and to have four more kids, I mean that is just phenomenal strength. And so I do take heart in knowing that that’s who I come from.
LBD: That’s part of my DNA, so to speak. I was birthed by a strong woman. I was raised by a strong woman. I remember thinking, both moms would have been fast friends. And so those missed opportunities, I feel sorrow around that. But I do think it happened how it was supposed to happen.
BC: Where our relationship has developed, it’s exactly where she would want it to be. The only thing that’s missing is her presence. But I think the way in which we were raised kept our hearts soft over the years. And I think that that prepared us to one day meet you.