Elderly man meets son after 61 years

 CNN NEWS SERVICE - For all of his 61 years, Sam Childress never knew his father. But now, that's changed. The recent discovery of a long-lost letter led to this emotional event.

At 81-years-old, Tony Trapani says he feels like a new dad, his 61-year-old son Samuel, in his arms for the first time.

"I always asked my mom, I said, 'Well what does he look like?'" Childress said, recalling his childhood. "She said, 'Well, go look in the mirror.'"

Childress' mother sent the letter back in 1959, notifying Trapini that the two had conceived a son. Although Childress was told by his mother the letter was sent, Trapini never received it. Trapini said his wife intercepted the letter and hid it in a filing cabinet for decades.

"Why my wife didn't tell me? I don't know," Trapini said. "She wanted children. She couldn't have any. She tried and tried."

Samuel says growing up it was his understanding that his father did receive the letter but didn't want anything to do with him. Growing up in Pennsylvania, meeting his father was just a distant thought.

"Just to know him now is so important to me," Childress said. "It's going to fill that void that I didn't have."

Making the most out of the time they have left, knowing they can't go back in time and dwell on the secret kept from them for so long, father and son now catching up on a lifetime of memories.

"He's my full son that I've had my whole life," Trapini said. "But why my wife hid that letter is beyond me."

The newly united family is planning on taking a paternity test just to be sure.


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