© Photographer: Erikreis | Agency: Dreamstime.com
(originally posted in 2008)
A little earlier today I found myself standing in front of a huge wall of flowers, picking out just the right ones for Memorial Day. So many in my family have passed on. My adoptive family was older when they "got" me, so I have lost many aunts and uncles who hold special places in my heart.
Red roses for Nanny and her twin sister, Aunt Kay. Lilies for Aunt Hazel and Uncle Dean. Then there are years of memories ~ placing flowers on graves of great grandparents I never met, and feeling no connection whatsoever....but that's another story. It provided a "tradition" and "familiarity" for my childhood "roots".
Well into reunion, I now have the added work of grieving for biological relatives who I had the great blessing of growing close to before their passing ~ my GREAT-GRANDMA Grace, who was the one lady in my blood family actually shorter than me! She passed away at the age of 93, and left me a beautiful painting that now graces my bedroom wall. Her family (the Derrickson's) were one of the first settlers near Oolagah, OK and were childhood friends with Will Rogers!
My maternal grandmother, Carolyn, who was a ballroom dancer well into her senior years. The year before she passed away, my husband and I spent New Year's Eve with her dancing to big band sounds ~ what a treasure.
Then there are my paternal grandparents who I grew the closest to...sitting at the dining room table hearing heart-warming stories of their childhood's, growing up in rural Oklahoma, WWII stories of my grandfather's plane making a crash landing with narrow escape, and their travels all over the world, including a trip to Europe on the Concord. Nothing can adequately describe the feelings of completeness and strength these precious years have given me ~ in reunion with my family.
As I was contemplating which flowers for each person, I suddenly realized that a special song was playing over the sound system of the store, and it seemed as if it was right over my head. "Cats in the Cradle" has always reminded me of my Mother ~ Norma Carol. I think it is because of that reminiscent 70's sound that, for some reason, resonates deep in my soul and brings peace to my mind. My connection to her.
It amazed me when her sister told me that one of Norma's favorite songs was "It's a Wild World" ~ when I hear the lyrics of these songs, it seems as if my Mother is singing her love and advice to me from far away. It certainly IS a wild world, and it does take more than a smile...that I have learned.
So...standing there amongst the flowers, hearing the soothing melody ring in my ears, I carefully reached out and pulled out a big bouquet of sunflowers...for my First Mother. The Mother who had no options at a tender, young age in the late 60's, but to lose me. And I her. Twice.
All of a sudden it seemed as if all strength left my body and I went weak. So empty. So helpless....standing with sunflowers gracing my eyes, but feeling so lost inside. She is gone and I miss her so much. I want to touch her and hear her voice, and feel her arms around me ~ just once. It would be so amazing.
My Mother passed away...while searching for me. She thought she was searching for a son, because the hospital personnel and attorney gave her false information during the whole surrender...and since she wasn't given the opportunity to even see me, she had no way of knowing that I was a daughter. I felt her voice singing to me in the store today...
"...When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then.
You know we'll have a good time then." Tears.