What would have been …?
This life I did not live
Pictured above – Birth Family circa 1960 [before I arrived]
It has only been a little over a month and I am still processing, digesting, gathering information, building a [genealogy]family tree so I can see it, comprehend it all in ‘black & white.’
What of these strangers until now … these siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents I never got to know. The stories, the history that was rightfully mine stolen away.
Questions that come to my mind are those that are most taken for granted, I think. But now; this new opportunity has finally arisen. I remember having a childhood notebook with hundreds of questions to ask of my birth mother. I speak with Linda, my birth mother, and all of those questions evade me. I guess I am still waiting for some truth. But I try to move on and realize there is more to know. I deal with her on a distanced level; working to obtain family history, names, events and some of her memories. Those memories though, always have me questioning how much truth there is to them. The trust is just not there.
Then it dawns on me after we hang up; of my parents and siblings just a few things I wonder about:
- The color of your eyes?
- How tall are you?
- How much did you weigh at birth?
- Do you play an instrument?
- What kind of music do you like?
I know all of these things about my sister, the one that shares stories of our past, of our family and extended family. The one I have never questioned a future with. Always lingering and at my fingertips are our shared memories; ones we made together – good, bad and some best not to mention!
These things we take for granted knowing; like we know our name and address; because we have always known it.
Progress in this new ‘un-lived life
My brother and I; we already know the truth in our hearts. For me it is the science first and then the evidence next. I see myself almost looking back as I look at pictures of my sister. Finally knowing who I looked like even if its only in a picture. For my brother; my baby pictures cemented it. To quote him; ‘if you aren’t my sister, then I don’t know who is.’, ‘I feel you sis!’
Perusing their pictures; my birth mother Linda and my deceased birth father Israel. There is no doubt in my mind that these are my birth parents. DNA has already proved that. But just to be sure, my surviving brother has submitted his DNA to Ancestry. And so now we wait.
Top Right – Birth Father Israel; Top Middle – Author – FP: Top Left – Birth Mother Linda
Bottom Right – Birth Sister Debra; Bottom Right – Author – FP
I don’t want to trade one life story for another. I feel fortunate that I can now officially be a woman of two tribes; and to know the tribes of whence I came. To foster new relationships as I slowly uncover the layers of this life not lived. There is no reason to create a different past; I don’t want to change the facts. I don’t want a different sister than I grew up with, nor family in general. I cherish my life-sustaining tribe. My only regret is not of my actions; but circumstance; that I did not find out the truth until so much later in life.