Poem: Long Ago


Long ago

two strangers met

and their fate was sealed

 

A child’s life

had been hurt

but a woman helped it heal

 

She took her hand

and brought her home

to help her learn to feel

 

Some days were hard

and both felt pain

life could feel surreal

 

But the woman

always was there for her

through every life ordeal

 

So even though

not by birth

as my Mother you are real

 

Dedicated to my dear Mom on her 91st birthday. You are my heart and soul. Thank you for the day you found me, brought me home and have helped me on my journey ever since!

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Happy Birthday Mom 


It has not been an easy year but this amazing woman reached this incredible milestone with the strength and dignity I’ve always admired in her. Facing tough setbacks in her nearly perfect health, she was undaunted by the changes in her. Her ever positive outlook on life has kept her moving and healing, but mostly is an inspiration to all of those who know her.

From the time I was small she taught me that I could be anything I wanted, something I have passed on to my daughters. Her help has allowed me to figure out my path and feel a sense of security. 

This time living near my Mother has been a blessing after spending  so many years apart. She has given me more than I can really express. And really without her decision so many years ago, when she knew adopting a little girl was something she needed to do, I’m not sure where I would be today. 

Happy 90th Mama. I love you. 

70 Years Young!!


This is what my co-worker posted on the white board about my birthday today! Happy birthday to me…  ha ha, because I’m really 60 today and he likes to be funny. But with me dancing around and that post, plenty of folks knew today was the day that I  tipped over into a new decade.

Usually I let these things slide, but since this one seemed fairly monumental to me, I let my mouth rip. I mean, sheesh, I recall feeling like my Grandma was way old when she was in her sixties! And wouldn’t you know, time just plundered on ahead and here I am! How the heck did that happen pray tell?


My high school friends and I have been scratching our heads (and looking in the mirrors) and wondering where all those years went. One of them just sent me a picture of my HS principal/geology teacher. For goodness sake, he’s 91 years old! He looked fantastic mind you, but 91 years old?! That’s nuts!

But even though I went to work, it’s been a great day so far. Some of my co-workers got me gifts….it was amazing and incredibly touching! Man, after 8 years of working at my old job, you had to die for anyone to pay attention. Two gals in the scheduling part of our OR came up behind me (very unusual) and I turned around from my desk. I said: wow, I’m being stalked by schedulers (I really had no idea what was going on). One is pretty serious, so she said: Yup, you made a really big mistake booking a case. My heart was pounding in my chest and I got so upset. Then the said: Happy Birthday, and they gave me the nicest gifts! I was shocked. It was so sweet!! Even my bosses got me something and another wonderful gal who gave me the book the other day.


And as I was leaving a bunch of them chimed in to a rendition of: Happy Birthday to you, you live in the zoo…. I changed it to: I work in the zoo… All in all, very touching. With hugs, fist bumps and all that…. So maybe I’m getting there and work is becoming more and more an accepting place.

On the home front, a huge package from a dear old friend, cards and best of all:

Calls from all three of my wonderful daughters! I even was remembered by someone I’ve been out of contact with for quite some time.

Mom and I will go out tomorrow to dinner too. I’m lucky to have this day, because it’s often a 3 day weekend. Yippee.

Let’s hope it’s a wonderful decade. Better than the last because that one was a bit tough. Now I’m really moving into the crone years: hopefully the wisdom will start to really come, the patience, the contentment and I’ll be walking the right path. Thanks to you all for you continued support on this blogging journey of mine!!

 

 

July 1, 1956


Fifty nine years ago an unknown woman gave birth to a baby.
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Today I sit here on this rainy day contemplating my life and this last year. Where has it gone…the old war cry we all whimper as we look in the mirror in horror and see another face staring back at us. No longer the youthful smile smirking back at us–the one ready to conquer the world. Instead, the laugh lines we have earned encircle our lips and shape our features and mold our current beauty.

I had hoped my house would be sold by now and I would celebrate today with my adopted Mom in my new home. Her birthday is June 28th and she turned 88. She too lamented at the turning of the wheel of time, still feeling young and healthy. Maybe next year, we say, we will celebrate our special days together?
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But of course, we never know what this year may bring. My last year within the decade as a 50-year-old. I recalled remembering my Grandma in her 60’s and thinking: she is old! And yet, now I quickly approach my 60’s! My high school friends and I wonder how this could be? Weren’t we just laughing in class together, passing notes and causing trouble?

As a gift to myself I am getting my wisdom teeth out tomorrow! Why is it they are called wisdom teeth and they are removed as we get older? If they retain our wisdom, shouldn’t they stay?

I’ve reflected on the wisdom that I’ve hopefully obtained in my life. The clichés abound about old age and wisdom. Am I really getting older and better? Let’s hope so. Sometimes we try to obtain wisdom, sometimes life dumps it on us through trial and error and painful experiences. Sometimes we won’t listen to people trying to give us wisdom even when we should. But eventually we get where we should be.
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It feels more peaceful, more slow, more sure now that I’m older. I’m still the same person and I have my moments for sure, but I do seem to cope with the world in a better way. There’s more quiet in my life. I’ve learned to let things go–let people go. I’m more sure of what I want and don’t want.

Looking forward it’s hard to believe I may only have 30 or so years to go, especially when these 59 went so fast. Let’s hope Einstein’s theory was right. Savoring every moment, standing still and absorbing a moment does seem to slow time down.

My hands are older; my heart holds so much now: the weight of the world, lost loves,  past pets and a withering earth. But I also know about hope, the kindness of strangers, the enthusiasm of youth. All these things may save us yet.
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Crazy Theory


Last week was an emotional week with a best friend having a baby. She’s a doll and mother and baby are fine! Yesterday was my birthday and it always brings me moments of reflection. My life presently is mostly pretty peaceful and good, but there are a couple of things I wish were different. Not unlike most people I suppose. But last week I heard two things that really set my heart low.

They both had to do with couples. Both couples were at pivotal moments in their ‘couple life’ and yet the men cheated. Now I’m no saint, and I’m not here to judge. That’s not what this blog piece is about. Hearing the news about these two women and how heartbroken they both were, made me think about how often we hear about couples going through this sort of awful thing. And it made me wonder.

If they aren’t going through actual affairs, then I seem to hear people complaining about their relationships. How miserable they are and wish they were single. Or how they are just staying for the kids, or because they don’t want to be alone, or because they are just used to someone, or because they are afraid to date again. They don’t seem to be staying because they are actually happy and love the person they have married or is their partner. I’m not saying this is everyone, but with a divorce rate as high as it is, then I say something seems wrong.

For me personally, I’ve been divorced three times. And I’ve been on a million dates it seems. Nothing seems right. I’ve blamed myself, I’ve blamed the men, I’ve blamed the area in which I live. And many of my friends now, men and women, are choosing to remain single. So now I’m starting to formulate a new ‘crazy theory’.

It seems to me the human race in on crash course. On that I think most of us agree. We are polluting the air, the ocean, the earth, our bodies. We are also killing each other: nations are fighting one another and can’t ever seem to come to peaceful resolve about much. Humans murder one another for no good reason, rape, blow up innocent gatherings with the intent to kill. Oh sometimes it’s suppose to be in the name of something, but it’s never seems a good reason to murder. What about all the species we are helping towards extinction or are already there? The list is endless of the harm we are causing–to each other, our planet and all the plants and animals that inhabit it with us.

So what’s my theory? Here we all are, men and women…humans, the dominate species and so many of us can’t seem to get along. I’m beginning to wonder if this isn’t part of the plan? If maybe this destructive species of ours is actually running ourselves right into extinction too, not only by obvious reasons stated above, but by the simple fact that men and women just can’t seem to function as a unit any longer.

Obviously this unit is necessary, at least to some degree, for the procreation of the species. Sure, there are other ways that this can happen by artificial insemination, cloning or maybe even cryogenics. But the old-fashioned way of the man/woman relationship seems to almost be a thing of the past. At least in my small scope of vision.

Certainly over population still exists in many nations. But infant mortality probably equals it in many nations also. It depends on the wealth of the nation. I’m talking on a more emotional level here. As men and women’s rift becomes wider, how will this effect the species in the long run? I mean very long run obviously. Our overuse, abuse, misuse, carelessness and callousness has made global changes on almost every aspect of our ecosystem from the most expansive down to the tiniest cell. We know that now. So can we say that this shift from our grand parent’s time and their 60 year marriages, to our families now with 2 and 3 divorces will not also have a deeper implication than we think far into the future?

Once again, this is only one crazy old crone’s opinion. Thoughts floating around as I hear stories from saddened hearts and knowing my own heart and what I too have done and felt. I cried with joy when the supreme court struck down DOMA and feel that everyone has the right to marry the one they love. And any person or persons can raise a child, although not everyone does it well. But it will always (as far as we know now, for the most part) take one egg and one sperm to create that child. So if this rift between man and woman becomes so great at some point so far down the road that fertilization doesn’t take place, well then, I guess the earth will slowly be rid of us. That is, if we don’t blow it up first.

National Adoption Month: Post 6–The Invisible Mother


Being adopted I could imagine anyone as my birth mother. I’ve always had an obsession with Marilyn Monroe and her story, partly because she was from such a torn background herself. It was easy to picture her as my mother, even though the math didn’t work out right.  But it was fun to dream and I often felt like my oldest daughter even looked like her. Recently I read that she even had a baby that was given away and I quickly started doing calculations in my head wondering if maybe she was really my grandmother….

These are the sorts of things adoptees do. They are always trying to tie back to the invisible one. The one that links to their genes, their looks, their mannerisms, their issues. One can have a most wonderful upbringing, but these questions still run through our veins no matter what, no matter how much love is wrapped around us. The two stand alone and are mutually exclusive.  This is something people don’t seem to understand.

And it’s odd that I never much thought of my birth father. I’m not sure why. He never seemed to play a big role in my psyche. When I did searches (which I did) it was always for her. I have paid lots of money and have come up fairly empty. I did find a birth name, but it didn’t tie me back to much given the story my adopted mother gave me. Back in the days I was adopted, records were slammed shut. And there is no opening them unless birth parents want them opened. Which, apparently, mine do not.

So all is left to my imagination. And a vivid one I have…do I get that from her? Through the years I have come to a huge place of acceptance. I have even come to a place of gratitude. I’ve accepted her decision that she did what she had to do in a time where single women could not raise a baby well. And she was in a ‘career’ shall we say and needed out. I just hope the story I was told is true and that she did what she planned to do.

My gratitude is vast. Mostly for doing the hardest thing a mother had to do and that is to let go. It couldn’t have been easy to walk away. I was eighteen months old. She had been my mother for eighteen months! The day I got my birth name from a private detective it was quite a moment to realize I had a different identity for the first part of my life. But one day, one moment she said some words (what were they?), maybe hugged/kissed me and then….turned around for the last time and walked away. I was too young to know she would never come back. That never coming back has left a deep and lasting impression on me and has affected me throughout my life.

I also am grateful for all the things she gave me just by being my birth mother: the genes I inherited and have passed to my two wonderful daughters. We are all wonderful dancers and have a great sense of rhythm and love of music. Was this from her? I say this not egotistically, but humbly, we are attractive and men like us…that’s from her and in our genes for sure given the nature of the business she was in. Sadly it may have been her demise, but hopefully she got out in time to carve out a decent life for herself. I’m sure there are other of our positive traits too that come from her.

But, of course, the leaving left a hole that has never quite been filled. And I imagine never will be. As an adult I’ve come to accept this part of me. I carry it around and wear it like I do my blue eyes. It doesn’t hurt anymore, it’s just there. It doesn’t hinder me these days, it’s just part of who I am. It’s because I know now we all just do what’s best at the time. And sometimes that doing may hurt other people. I know this because I have done it. I have seen my children hurt by decisions of mine. This comes only with age and living.

So I forgive my invisible mother. She did the best she could at the time. I wished when I was young that I could meet her someday. But I’ve come to grips now that I never will. She would be 77 years old now. I know this from the non-identifying information I got from New York state. Do I have siblings? Ah, that would be so cool. Maybe I can go on Oprah and find out! Every adoptee loves those stories of long-lost siblings finding each other. But some of us aren’t so lucky and we just go through life by ourselves never finding birth family members.

I’ve learned then to just love myself for who I am. And be grateful for the family that I had and thankful to a birth mother that had the courage to walk away because she thought it was best. She’s out there somewhere maybe and every birthday of mine I think of her and wonder if she’s thinking of me.