Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
PORTALES—Tracy (Simmons) Chavez, a graduate student at Eastern New Mexico University, is being published in an upcoming book titled "TRUE-Real Stories About God Showing Up in the Lives of Teens" with an article called "The Phone Call."
The article details how she met her estranged father and two half-sisters when she was a freshman at Eastern. Chavez, a 2000 graduate of La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, had not seen her father since she was one. She came home to her dorm room one night at 11 p.m. and her roommate urged her to listen to a message on the answering machine.
To Chavez's surprise, it was her sister Lissa of Marshall, Texas, saying to call her as soon as possible no matter what time it was at. She had not heard from Lissa since about 1981. "I called her back and neither of us
knew what to say. There were a lot of 'oh wows' and weather talk," says Chavez, a former varsity soccer player/coach at Eastern.
I also found out during the conversation that I had a 14-year-old half-sister, Elena, in Belen, New Mexico. Later, I e-mailed Elena and we met at a restaurant in Albuquerque," says Chavez.
A few days later, the two flew out to visit Lissa, six years older than Chavez. Their thrice-divorced dad, who had a daughter with each wife, was also there. Her father had maintained a relationship with Chavez's two
half-sisters, but due to circumstances between Chavez's parents that Chavez does not understand, her father had not stayed in touch with her. "The reunion with my dad was very awkward," says Chavez. "We
haven't really stayed in touch since that meeting."
Elena and Chavez have remained close to this day. In fact, Elena played the saxophone at Ms. Chavez's Dec. 12 wedding at the ENMU campus fountain.
"I have always been more of a tomboy," says Chavez. "Elena was the more girly of us both."
According to Chavez, "I wrote the article to explain how I had been praying for a reunion with my dad and sister. I got even more than I prayed for—I reunited with two sisters."
The publication, produced by the editors of "Chicken Soup," is scheduled to appear on bookshelves around