Sisters reunited with brother after 61 years apart

Reunion sparked by cruise ship chance encounter

TAMPA - "We get to meet our brother," said Alice Moreno.

Two sisters waited at the airport for a plane.

"All the years he missed. All the years we missed with him," said Moreno.

They are here for a family reunion -- a family reunion 61 years overdue.

"I know we're going to know, because blood is thicker than water," said Moreno.

"I'm so nervous. I don't know what to say anymore. I feel like I want to cry," said her sister, Sandy Peterson.

Their mother was a nurse in Puerto Rico.  She gave up custody of their brother, Bernardo, when he was just an infant, but never gave up hope her children would be reunited.

"'You need to find your brother.  Look for him.'  She never got a chance to see him," Moreno explained.

The sisters searched for years with no success, but then a friendly conversation with two strangers from Puerto Rico on a cruise ship would change all of that.

"Then she says, 'I know somebody on the island where I live.  I used to work with him.  I was let go but he still works there for the government,'" recounted Moreno.

"Then she says his name is Bernardo, Bernardo Pujols.  And then she looks at my sister, and she says, 'Wow!  You know what, he looks like you,'" she said.

The chance connection brought the sisters to TIA's Gate "A" where Flight 652 from San Juan landed a little early. 

"Oh my God, could this be possible?" said Moreno.

It was.

"I hope he's ok. I hope he's not lost," said Moreno wringing her hands.

"He said he was on the train already. He said he was on the train," she said.

Moments later, their brother got off the train.  They rushed towards him, hugging and kissing him, telling him how he looks like their mother.

Family reunions are sweet, especially when you have waited a lifetime.

"Now you got a family," Moreno told him.

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