Elderly man finds son after discovering letter his wife hid for decades

Posted at 12:00 PM, Jan 20, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - An 81-year-old man tried to have children all his life but never accomplished his goal... or so he thought.

Tony Trapani was cleaning out old boxes after his wife recently died and found a letter.

The envelope was addressed to him and was sent over 50 years ago but he had never seen it.

Trapani read the letter and found out he had a son.

The 81-year-old man met his son, 61-year-old Samuel Childress, for the first time Sunday.

But this story takes a drastic turn; Trapani said he believes his wife at the time intercepted the letter and hid it for decades while the couple couldn't have a child of their own.

“Why my wife didn’t tell me, I don’t know," Trapani told WXMI. "She wanted children. She couldn’t have any. She tried and tried.”

Growing up, Childress said it was his understanding that his father got the letter but didn’t want anything to do with him.

Father and son are now catching up on a lifetime of memories, making the most out of the time they have left.

The family is also planning to have a paternity test done just to be 100 percent sure.

MORE: Get the latest on this story from WXMI