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81-year-old man discovers son he never knew he had

After a lifetime of believing he could never have children, an 81-year-old Michigan man discovered he has a 61-year-old son.
Samuel Childress and Tony Trapani photo from WXMI

Grand Rapids, MI -- After a lifetime of believing he could never have children, an 81-year-old Michigan man discovered he has a son.  Troy Trapani, 81, said he and his wife wanted a family and tried for years to have children, but were unable to conceive.

After his wife passed away, Trapani was sorting through papers in a filing cabinet when he came across a letter he had never seen before, from a woman.

"I have a little boy," the letter said.  "He is five years old now. What I'm trying to say Tony is he is your son. He was born November 14th, 1953."  Trapani said he thought his wife had intercepted and hidden the letter from him for decades, according to a report from our sister station WXMI.

Samuel Childress, the son Trapani had never known, is now 61 years old.   The two men met for the first time in January 2015.  Childress said he spent his life wondering about his father.

"I always asked my mom, I said, 'Well, what does he look like?' She said, 'Well, go look in the mirror,'" Childress said.  His mother told him she had sent the letter, and they figured no response meant his father was ignoring him.

"Why my wife didn't tell me, I don't know. She wanted children. She couldn't have any. She tried and tried," Trapani said.  "He's my full son that I've had my whole life, but why my wife hid that letter is beyond me."

"Just to know him now is so important to me. It's going to fill that void," Childress said.  They're catching up on a lifetime of memories, knowing they cannot go back in time or dwell on the secret that kept them apart for more than five decades.