Canada
Ontario mother and son reunited after 48 years

Douglas Edward Wood, left, meets his mother, Meribeth-Joan Ruttan, for the first time since he was born 48 years ago, while Jim Dixon welcomes his older brother wearing a Santa suit at Belleville's, ON VIA Rail station Friday, Dec. 2012.

Credits: JEROME LESSARD/QMI AGENCY

JEROME LESSARD | QMI AGENCY

BELLEVILLE - Meritbeth-Joan Ruttan gave birth to her oldest son 48 years ago, but the two first met before Friday.

Holding a sign that read "Seeing my mother for the first time," Douglas Edward Wood was all tears upon meeting his mother and younger brother Jim Dixon for the very first time, after he arrived at Belleville's VIA Rail station from Toronto Friday morning.

Though Ruttan and Wood had never met and only spoke on the phone for a first time less than two months ago, all the years and distance were erased when they hugged each other.

"I am totally shocked. It's been a long time. A lot of years," said Wood."I was just staring up at the clouds while on the train, thinking of what was going to happen once I get here.

"I have prepared myself all week for this. I got up earlier than usual, around 5:30 a.m., ready to go see my mother for the first time."

Ruttan, who had her oldest son taken away from her by social services 48 years ago, also got up earlier than usual Friday - excited, "but scared" to meet him for the very first time.

While waiting impatiently for Douglas' train, Ruttan had three words in mind she wanted to tell him: "I love you."

"He will be here for the weekend. He's coming to our Christmas dinner at the church. We have lots of catching up to do," she said, while hugging her two sons.

Wood united with his mother after his pastor's wife saw a photograph published in The Peterborough Examiner showing his mother and younger brother Jim attending a repatriation ceremony for one of the 158 Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan at CFB Trenton.

"I was surprised with the results and how quickly it happened, thanks to the technology we have now," noted Wood. "I am just happy to be with my mom."

Since the pastor's wife saw The Intelligencer's photo in the paper, Dixon said she kept telling Douglas "this is your brother and mother".

"This is by far the best Christmas present we ever got," said Dixon, who captured the moment with his cellphone.
Ruttan has tried to find her oldest son many times, but without success.

"He was born in Belleville and now I know he lived in Brampton for 30 years and after in St. Catharines, before he moved in Toronto where he works," she noted.

"He said the next time he comes down he'll stay for two weeks."

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