youtube.com/ABC News
Source: youtube.com/ABC News

Lonely Elderly Man Can't Find His Sister for 65 Years until a Little Neighbor Starts His Own Search

Dayna Remus
Apr 14, 2022
02:00 P.M.
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An elderly man was lost in deep loneliness and could not connect with his beloved siblings. But he didn't know that he had a mini-detective in his midst. In fact, he could find this unlikely hero with only a short walk from his front door.

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The foster care system is meant to help kids find their forever homes. But, sometimes, it splits them up from the people in their lives who make them feel at home – their siblings. 

This can lead to loneliness not only during childhood but also in adulthood. Some people can, understandably, never let go of their lost brothers and sisters. Clifford Boyson from Davenport, Missouri, is one of these people.

[Left] Betty Billadeau and Clifford Boyson as children; [Right] Betty Billadeau and Clifford Boyson hugging. │Source: youtube.com/ABC News

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At only 7 years old, Boyson was torn apart from his four siblings. They were all sent to different foster homes – lost, confused, and never to see each other again. 

But, Boyson refused to accept this and became determined to find his siblings, such as his sister, Betty Billadeau.

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Clifford Boyson holding pink roses. │Source: youtube.com/ABC News

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UNABLE TO LET GO

When they separated, his sister Billadeau was only 3 years old. He sent numerous letters in search of his brothers and sisters. One was a general plea for help which read:

"To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Clifford Boyson, and I'm trying to locate any family member. I'm not contacting you for money or anything like that. Please write, talk, and allow me to meet them."

But, no matter how hard he tried, he found nothing. His letters all kept returning to him. However, he had no idea that a secret weapon was living next door – a 7-year-old armed with an iPad. 

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Eddie Hanzlin with an iPad. │Source: youtube.com/ABC News

THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY

Usually, when it comes to children helping the elderly with technology, they teach them how to send a message or install an application. 

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But tech-savvy 7-year-old Eddie Hanzlin took it to a new level. He was on a mission to help his lonely neighbor find his long-lost siblings using his mother's iPad. 

Taking to Facebook, he searched for Billadeau's maiden name on the social media site. Miraculously, she popped up. 

At this point, all the other siblings had tragically passed away, but the fact that these two would be able to have a reunion was heartwarming in and of itself. 

Eddie Hanzlin, Clifford Boyson and Betty Billadeau. │Source: youtube.com/ABC News

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A LONG-AWAITED HUG

After 65 years apart, in January 2013, the two siblings were finally able to stand in the same room again. Clifford appeared teary-eyed while waiting for his sister with pink roses in his hand. Speaking about the experience, he remembered

"My heart was going 60 miles per hour; I never thought it would come true." 

As Billadeau walked through the door, her brother exclaimed, "Oh my God!" The two hugged each other tightly. It was as if they never wanted to be separated again.

The sister was also overcome with emotion, expressing: "It just felt good because I hadn't known I had brothers."

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Clifford Boyson holding pink roses. │Source: youtube.com/ABC News

A BIG THANKS

Without the little boy, neither this sister nor brother would have been able to embrace one another again, and Billadeau was keenly aware of this fact. She said

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"Don't give up hope if you're looking for someone because you'll never know what [a] 7-year-old can do for you."

Beyond his ability to use technology, the young boy also revealed that another reason he was able to find the sister was simply because she looked eerily similar to his elderly neighbor.

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THE DETECTIVE SPEAKS OUT 

However, Eddie's motives far outweigh his technical and mystery-solving abilities, with a kind heart pushing him to help his elderly neighbor. In his own words, when asked why he did it, the primary-schooler said:

"Because Clifford didn't have any family at all, and I wanted to help Clifford find his family because sometimes Clifford gets lonely."

He emphasized the importance of values, too, showing that not only does he have great skills but also wonderful morals – two characteristics that will likely get him far in life.

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TO INFINITY

Beyond getting far in his own life, Eddie represents the growing number of young individuals who can use the power of technology for the greater good.

Every day, computers, automation, and so much more are getting smarter and stronger by the minute, creating fast-growing machinery of power. 

This can be used for the good or the bad of everyone. So, we need people like Eddie with the skill and the morality to drive this powerful force forward. The youth, after all, are the only generation that we can depend on for our future. 

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RECONNECTION

The one specifically powerful aspect of current technology, as we can tell by Clifford and Billadeau's reunion, is to connect people – something that became clear during the lockdown. 

But, as the brother and sister showed us, it can also help us reconnect in real-time. This reconnection is exactly what happened when one mother helped her daughter find her twin – who she originally didn't know existed. 

Audrey Doering and Gracie Rainsberry are identical twins but were separated via adoption at such a young age that they did not remember each other. 

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One Christmas, Audrey asked her adoptive mom for a sister. But, since she couldn't do that, she chose to look into her daughter's background. She was shocked to find out that her baby had an identical twin.

She managed to get hold of Gracie's family via Facebook. Gracie's mom was taken aback at how similar the girls looked and found it hard to fathom. Eventually, although they lived miles away from each other, they arranged the most beautiful reunion, complete with smiles, hugging, and tears. 

While romantic in its own right, the days of pigeons, letters, and sealed envelopes are over. With a click of a few buttons, we can connect or sometimes even reunite with the people who truly matter to us.

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