Tag Archives: #mother

Cardinal Red

17 Jul

I was looking out the window one afternoon, just a few days after the email from Aunt Patty telling me who in her heart she believed my biological father to be and saw a cardinal. Some people have said that when you see a cardinal it is a sign from a deceased loved one to let you know they are there.

It is funny because I rarely ever see cardinals but in last four or five months I have seen more than in the past 10 years combined. Both Cardinals and Blue Jays have been appearing outside my bedroom window (and a few other places too). I have never seen so many in such a short period of time.

I have different feelings associated with them every time. Sometimes it is happiness. Sometimes it is peace. One time I felt a presence, like my mother was there to encourage me. But this time, I just happened to look briefly out the window of a church and across the street on the fence sat a cardinal. The feeling hit instantaneously…..my father was acknowledging me. The bird sat there for a minute or two and then flew away.

Maybe I am crazy. I mean a bird is just a bird right? But the feeling I had seemed so real! It was comforting. I have always associated sightings with my mother. Thinking somehow it was connected with her but this one time the feeling hit right away. As if there was no doubt it was him.

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Brave Little Toaster

2 Jun

I finally had the chance to talk to Anna. She and her father Tim had talked and were trying to make sure they had everything straight as to who all the possibilities could be. I had a few of the blank cheat sheets I had used to try to guesstimate relationships during my research so I pulled them out and drew out the different scenarios for her. I am a visual person. I need to see it in front of me to understand so I wanted to present it that way.

If her father and I were cousins, that meant I was the daughter of one of his two uncles. From the sounds of it, while they all lived in the area, they were not really close with that part of the family anymore.  We chatted back and forth for a few but Anna needed to head to bed. Her newborn had fallen asleep which was one of her rare opportunities to sleep. She said she would be up at some point during the night so feel free to write more and she would get back to me during one of the middle of the night feeds.

I spent a little bit thinking about it. What to say. How to say it. I didn’t want to rock the boat too much but I also didn’t want to let an opportunity pass me by. So I did it. I got brave and I penned her a message. I went for broke and laid it all on the line:

This whole thing has been so crazy. I forget which of the potential “fathers” it was when we started out, but one of them lived on my mom(technically my aunt)’s best friend’s street (and during some of the years which I visited) and I think it was very likely Jake (father #1) worked with her best friend’s husband!! Small world!!!

I was wondering if you and your dad had any thoughts on all of this? Any suggestions? Ultimately for me, I have come so far, I want to find the answer. With that said, I also want to be discreet!! I am not looking to make waves in anyone’s life. For example, if it were Jake, while it would be awesome to have some half siblings, their father is gone. I would not want to do anything to hurt the memory of their father and obviously his wife’s memory…even though she married him a few years after I was born. He would not be there to speak for himself so I am not sure if he would have wanted me to know his family. If it is John (father #2) I realize he is married and I believe it is the same woman he was married to back then. Obviously I would want to have any conversation with him discreetly, not involving his wife. If it were him, whether or not he would want me to be a part of him life and have his family know about me would be up to him. Nowhere in any of this do I want to hurt anyone. I just need these answers for myself and am not asking for anything people don’t want to give beyond that!!!

Either way, I think a conversation with John is the key to everything. From that I would be able to tell if he knew of my mother or not. If not, then I know it is not him. If he did then I would ask questions that would help me learn the things he knew about her and how he met her (which would be awesome just to hear) and of course if he is my father…but would have to try to do it in a way that did not imply that if it wasn’t him, it was his brother because I would not want him to figure that out and tell anyone.  I certainly would not expect your or your dad to have that conversation with anyone!! That is on me to do. I was just hoping maybe you could give me guidance on the best and most discreet way to be in touch. Also of course I would want to know if you preferred me to leave you all out of it…meaning….if he is my father and asks how I found him, if I were to say I took the DNA test I can say that I traced my matches and did their family trees which lead me back to him.  I don’t have to say a word about you helping me or your dad taking the test to help!!! If you would both prefer to be left out of that I would certainly respect that!!! I could even leave out the DNA part and just say I followed clues my mother left behind!!  I just know John is older now and I don’t want to lose time cause you never know how much time you have and I just really want to solve this mystery and maybe if I am really lucky, once I know the answer can walk away with a few stories about the person and a few pictures to have as a memory or momento.

Do I sound corny?  I just, for me, I think after all the years of never having a chance to know my mother and never having a chance to see where I get my eyes, chin, nose etc, and never knowing if my biological father even knew I existed….I just really need this closure.  So any advice you or your dad can give would be amazing….whether I should call him (and what pretense do I use if his wife answers), write a letter, etc. I dunno…..I just need to complete this chapter 🙂

You can imagine my relief when I woke up to Anna’s message the next day. She said that she was going to talk to her dad and see what he said. And queue the waiting game………

Boom!!!

1 Jun

I was getting ready for bed and something hit me. The best way to describe it was a “feeling.” Just that sense that I should check my Ancestry DNA account. I sort of felt it, but ignored it. Then I felt it again. Stronger. So I stopped what I was doing and logged in. I saw that I had one new match. I clicked to open my matches and my heart skipped a beat. There at the top of my list was Anna’s father. He was listed as my first cousin.  OMG! OMG! OMG! It was the match that I expected it would be which would mean that my research had paid off. I was guessing he would come back as my first cousin and she would be my 1st cousin once removed. I was so proud of myself for being able to predict that! All those hours were not wasted.

My mind started racing. I laughed at myself because even though I knew what that meant, I was so overwhelmed I had to run and look at my notes to make sure I was looking at the right names.

TWO. Two is the magic number. If all the tests are right and the research correct, by process of elimination we are down to two people who could be my father. Brothers. One alive. One deceased. Part of me hopes it is the one who is deceased. If it was him, he sounded like a good, decent upstanding citizen. A really good man. The other half of me hopes it is the one who is still alive. If it is him, maybe I will be able to have just one conversation with one of my biological parents. I just want to know the story. Where I came from. How I came to be. Was I a one night stand? The product of a relationship that could not be public? Did it come from good? From bad? Why did my mother want to keep my father a secret? Did he know about me? Not want me? I want answers.

All these questions start racing through my mind at once. I am joyful. I am sad. I am bouncing off the walls looking for someone to share the news with while at the same time, choking up…tears coming down my face. I am close. So close. Closer than I ever imagined I could be!

I send a message to Anna. I told her I saw the results and was so overwhelmed. She wrote back that her father had gotten them back earlier that day. She was headed to bed but we would chat the next day.

Please brain…calm down for a little bit. Just long enough for me to sleep!

I Think I Can…I Think I Can..

30 May

So it seems that somehow my mother was tied to Father #1 through this lodge. Not that it actually answers any questions though! In order to be an associate member of the lodge, you had to be sponsored by a member. So, was Father #1 her sponsor? If so, how had she met him prior to that? What was their original connection? Or, had someone else sponsored her and maybe she met him there?

Taking that one step further though, if all you needed to become an associate member of the lodge was to be sponsored by someone who was a member that means that Father #2 or #3 could have been associate members too. Could she have met one of them there? Or did she know father #1 and met Father #2 or #3 through him?

Really, the finding of this card does not answer any of my questions questions. In fact, if anything, it creates MORE questions. But is does do one thing. It proves that I am on the right track!!!

Through this DNA test I have found a relative that matches pretty closely. This match and her family as well as all the possible “fathers” lived in the town that mother was living and working in when she got pregnant with me. The associate membership card for the Lodge shows there was a definite connection. It not only put them in the same city but in the same organization. So while the massive amount of new questions is discouraging, it is also encouraging. I am that much closer to solving this mystery. I can do it. I will do it. I HAVE to do it…..for me!

 

Here’s Your Sign!

26 May

As I have mentioned before, life is all about “moments.” There have been moments over the years that have made me feel close to my mother. The dream that I had that started me out on my journey to learn more about her. The picture I received from her friend that looked exactly like she did in my dream, the framed pictures falling from a coffee table and on to the floor when we were talking about her. A Volkswagen Bug with eyelashes (like her very first car) appearing behind me the day that I wished more than ever for a sign that she was there with me. These and other experiences have led me to believe that my mother is with me. Not in the conventional “let’s hang out and grab a coffee” kind of way, but in the way where she is looking out for me. In tune with my needs, making her presence known at times, protecting me.

This was the case one day as I found myself getting closer to the answer.

Several years ago, someone came across my birth mother’s wallet and gave it to me, thinking it was something I would like to have. I LOVED that wallet. Not the actual wallet itself, but all the contents inside. There was a driver’s license, credit cards, insurance cards, card for a doctor’s appointment for my brother, pictures and so much more. I must have held each item in my hands 100 times, studying it…looking for clues. Nothing. There was absolutely nothing to be found. I had researched a few items, making calls and digging for information, but came back empty handed every time.

Here I found myself facing something so big. Trying to find my biological father. Man how I wish my mother was here. She could fill in all the blanks. She could answer all the questions I have. She alone could give me all the information I need. But she is not here. Of course she isn’t. I don’t know why she felt so strongly that she did not want to tell anyone who my father was. To protect him? To protect me? To protect her own heart? People always told me that they believed she would have told me when I had gotten older if I really wanted to know. She didn’t know she was going to pass away so suddenly. But man, it left me in such a hard place. She left me no clues. Nothing to try to solve the mystery on my own!

As I was perusing the internet looking for information on my potential fathers, I came across the obituary for father #1. My heart sank at the idea of being too late. Is it possible that after all of this I will never have the chance to hear my father’s voice just once either?

I slowly read the article, taking note of the different family members listed, etc. They talked about his military service as well as his 30 years on the police force. There was a list of numerous things he had been actively involved in including a bowling league and a fishing club. It also mentioned him being a member of the Fraternal Order of a specific lodge.

I don’t know what it was, but the minute I saw the name of the lodge I stopped dead in my tracks. I have not lived in that town since I was two and a half years old so there is no reason I would know the name. Seconds later I had it. I thought back to my mother’s wallet and for some reason felt that was where I had seen this before.

It was 10:30 at night and the fact that my alarm was going to go off at 4:30 am meant nothing to me! I jumped up out of bed and started tearing my whole bedroom apart looking for this wallet. At 1 am I finally threw in the towel. I went to work the next day, exhausted. All I could think about was getting home and where else I could look.

The day finally came to a close. I got home and headed right for my room. I stood there looking around and said, “ok mom, where is the wallet?” I looked under my bed and pulled out a box. I opened the clasp and there inside were all the contents of my mom’s wallet. About half way down, there was an associate membership card bearing the same name as the lodge listed in the obituary!

I can’t begin to explain the feelings I had when I saw that card. Relief that I was not losing my mind was one! But really? After all those hours of tearing the room apart and then taking one moment to breathe and ask my mom where to look and poof…there it was? It felt like she recognized I was ready. That I had been working so hard to find the link and this was her way of letting me know she was ready to share her secret. That pat on the back saying “you are on the right track kiddo.”

 

Are You There?

4 May
I am going to preface this entry with….please don’t judge. The topic of the “spiritual” world can be a touchy one. Some people believe in spirits, others in signs. Some people think anything in the spiritual realm is evil. I am not sure what I believe in. I am a Christian that believes in God.  I believe in some form of heaven and hell though maybe not people floating around in the clouds or in a flame filled inferno.
When I think about tarot card readings, I don’t believe they are something to make life decisions by. They are fun. Maybe they offer something. I am not sure. I have never had an experience with them that truly made me a believer. I researched them once. It said they were invented as a card game. Kind of like the games we play today…poker, go fish, black jack. I don’t necessarily think they are the work of the devil.
I love the idea of mediums who can connect us with people on the “other side.” If you ask me if I believe a medium can really do what they say they can, I don’t know what to tell you. I went to see one once. Really out of curiosity but also because I had met her as a person beforehand and liked her. She was nice. If nothing else, I would be supporting her business. It was a good session. She said my mom was there and passed along messages to me. I am not sure it was really my mom. It could have easily been this woman just saying the things she knew I needed to hear. But either way, I walked out feeling refreshed. Like a good therapy session. It was a positive experience, but not earth shattering.  
 
I used a Ouija Board once in college. It was pretty intense. The stuff coming through was something only I would know, not anyone else in the group. But I questioned if it was really happening or me subconsciously moving it. There was no hard proof that it was real. 
 
Many years ago, I went to a palm reader at the beach with some friends. There were four of us. We each had a separate ten minute session and the other three all came out with essentially the same reading. I was the only one who got something different. I didn’t make anything of it and can’t remember at this point what was said but I do laugh as I look back because those people’s lives are all still interconnected while mine has taken its own path.
 
A friend of mine has a medium she goes to. She called me excited one day because  her grandfather “came through” to the medium and the woman was reciting lyrics to the song my friend’s grandfather used to sing to her as a child. There is no reason the woman would have known anything about this so my friend was convinced!! Admittedly, my ears perked up and I listened. I was curious.  What was more convincing was that each time my friend went the woman would tell her more and every time there was something to “prove” it was her grandfather coming through.
 
I am not going to lie to you. My curiosity was peaked!!! I so desperately wanted that connection. I wanted my mom to come and talk to me. I wanted to hear the words that she loves me. But I guess reality is, even if it happened for me, the words would never be her voice and I think that is what I am truly searching for. 
 
My friend and I went to Salem, MA one year around Halloween. While we were there she suggested we go do a reading. I figured what the heck. When we came out my friend was so excited. She said she had been told all kinds of interesting stuff. Me, I was so disappointed. I got nothing. Just some generic, this is what a “Leo” is lesson based on my zodiac sign. Telling me about my personality, etc. I tried to hide my sadness as we walked around doing more sightseeing. I masked it behind taking pictures and focusing on the costumes people wore and the decorated houses.
 
As we headed back to the Salem Witch Museum for our tour, I was lost in my head….wishing for my mom to show me a sign that she was with me and looking out for me. I stopped to take a picture of some “hanging pot heads” and as I turned around, parked behind me was a Volkswagen Bug with eyelashes. For a brief moment the goosebumps took over. My birth mother’s first car was a Volkswagen bug that she put eyelashes on!!! It was if in that moment, she was saying hi. Not through words. Just a simple sign. Something there would be no mistaking was her. If I hadn’t stopped to take that picture, I never would have noticed the car.
 
I smiled a little brighter. What I love it that as I have gotten older, while I don’t have the relationship with my birth mother like I do with my mom, it seems we have our special language. She hears me and makes sure that I know that she is there. My life has been a collection of little signs or moments…the judge signing the order giving guardianship of me to my aunt on my birth mother’s birthday. The dream in which she appeared as someone I had never seen before and months later that woman was looking back at me from a picture frame, and it was her. Pictures of her falling on to the floor when having a conversation about her. A car similar to her first one (with eyelashes to boot) popping up behind me as I wished for a sign letting me know she was there…even now in this new quest she has popped up in ways you will soon see.
 
The more I think about it, I am not sure what exactly it is that I believe in, but no matter what it is, I believe that she is there in the background. Not physically watching everything I am doing. That is creepy! Haha! But just there. Looking out for me. Loving me. Making sure I am never alone.
 

Besties

2 May

As I began to research my family tree, desperately trying to learn something about my heritage…and let me say, after a massive amount of work and lots of confusing hand drawn diagrams, I was able to trace my roots back to Germany, Ireland and Scotland to the time of the castles. Pretty amazing. I even traced family to Canada where I tracked down and “visited” an old homestead (but that is a story for another day)…I wanted nothing more than to learn about my biological mother.

 

I started to ask questions, dig deeper and researched the heck out of the internet. Finally, I found an address and a phone number for one of her childhood best friends! I couldn’t believe it. I psyched myself up and finally made the call. I was so nervous. Kinda like that, “hey, not sure if you know who I am or that I exist but…” phone call. She didn’t answer but I left a message with someone else in the house.

 

Time passed and I did not hear back right away. I thought maybe she didn’t want to talk to me. Maybe it would be another dead end. Another disappointment.

 

One afternoon I was sitting at my desk at work and my phone rang. It was HER!!! I couldn’t believe it. She told me she had been hoping for this phone call for years. That she knew who I was and had always hoped I would find her. And I had. We had a good long talk. She told me lots of stories about my mom. She loved animals. She was always smiling. She had a big heart. She loved her kids. She loved politics. She was kind. She was fun.

 

By the end of the phone call the planning of a girls’ weekend in Boston was in the works. She and the other member of their childhood trio were coming to visit.


I was so excited to meet them. For the first time in a long time I felt like I was on a path. Somehow I would be closer to my mother. I would not be able to physically touch her, see her or hear her voice…but somehow it would bring me closer to her. That by knowing them, somehow, I might know her.