Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Starting Point

I was born in the 50's, a baby boomer. I grew up in the new south suburbs of Chicago, in a normal , ordinary family. That was what I thought, except some things were different. I saw pictures of me as the flower girl at my parents wedding. I remembered living with my Gram in a big apartment building in the city, and as a teen my Mother and I fought like cats and dogs. I was adopted, now as it turns out, I was very lucky tht my birth Mother loved me enough to do what I can only imagine the hardest thing in life. After being married at just 17, with a baby six months later and an undependable husband, she made the choice. I was lucky enough later in life to thank her for giving me a wonderful childhood. My Gram was always there, a Dad who loved his kids, even the adopted one, and roots.

I battled through my teens, finally taking that leap and leaving home to start my married life at just 16. Of course I knew it all, had my Gram for all the tough questions and by shear stubbornness would make this work no matter what. Times were not always easy and more times than I let on I wondered about my Father and his family. You see, my Mom's were sisters. I always HAD those roots. They were not without some mysteries but not a secret. I had five beautiful kids, and we were truly blessed. Then the youngest was born and we had a major medical emergency. Doctors asked for my medical history, I only had half. Did something run in the family, I did not know. My Uncle Eddie made a frantic phone call to an old school friend. The friends sister happened to be married to my Dad's brother. The answer was, there was no one to ask, the brother had passed away. A brickwall, but you go on and the kids grew quickly and before you knew it, I also was a Grandmother. The nagging question of how could my Dad just go away? What did the rest of his family think? What nationality was he? Not earth shattering but all very important to me. My husband to this day does not underdstand.

The year I turned 40 my Mom and step Dad gave me a large manilla envelope. Inside was information on my Father, his full name, death date, a sisters phone number and a sister in law. As I held it crying a huge hole in my heart began to close. I had people how belonged to me just a call away.

I went home closed myself in my room and dialed who would be my Aunt June. She was warm, welcoming and even had a story of how she used to tease about wanting to keep me because she had all boys. I had family. All the Uncles were gone and in a very short time before we could meet face to face so was she. Another brickwall, she had not even known her Mother's maiden name. She was told she was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. After the death of her Mother had come to Chicago to stay with relatives, found her would be husband and married. That was now where my story ended, except for two photos Aunt June had sent me, one of my Dad standing by their house and the other of my Dad and a woman Aunt June could not recognize. It was my Mom.I had a picture with both parents.

Now years have passed and last December my son sent me a Dna test and subscription to Ancestry.com.

I have now found family, cousins of my very own. But this is just the beginning, I will start by telling you about my Rowan roots and the surprises that unfold.

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