October 21, 2010

What Every HS Reunion Needs...


Another wave of healing...It started out with my sweet husband asking if I had ever checked to see if my First Mother's High School graduating class had a website or FB page. I happened to look on FB, and was amazed to find out that not only were they on FB, but they were celebrating their 45th High School Reunion the very next weekend here in my hometown. I threw caution to the wind and emailed the contact lady with my request. Was there any way to find out if any of Norma's friends might remember her and share their memories with me?

Several years ago I would have felt too much embarrassment & shame to do that. Thank God I'm past that now. I explained to Val that my First Mom passed away while searching for me and that I've been reunited with the rest of my First Family for years now. But I still have a longing...

The response I got from this woman and several others was overwhelming and beautiful. She not only emailed me back immediately, but she also called. She also put out an email to all the graduates of Nathan Hale 1965 with my contact information in case anyone knew my Mother and would like to get in touch with me. She even invited me to the reunion! So I went...

It still feels like emotionally trying to untangle a ball of yarn without a beginning thread...the feelings and thoughts swim so incoherently it is hard to express or write about them...but I was so touched just being there and the warm reception I received. So many came up and said they wished they had known her and how sad they were that she wasn't here. It made her life & death more real to me. Seeing her classmates so full of life & enjoying themselves...talking about their families and lifetimes of memories.

I have to admit, even though the pain, it felt good to exist. To be there representing her and her legacy, and not feeling like I was still in hiding and shame. Adoptees take on the same shame that society puts on our Mothers. Unlocking our lives is truly healing, not only personally, but also for society...

I received an email from one of her classmates who said he and his wife had two adopted children. The son "has no interest" in finding his "birthmother", but his daughter had recently been "reunited." He said he was happy for her, but that it "was a dagger" in his heart.

One of the wives at the reunion came up to me and coyly asked, "Did my husband know your Mother?" with a smile...I could sense a little bit of nervousness in her voice. Wow ~ I wonder how many men & their wives were wondering who my First Father was, and trying to remember their High School years a little more "specifically"? I should have just worn it on t-shirt ~ "Are you my Daddy?" ~ and really stirred things up, huh?! NO ONE dared to mention or ask about him.

Thank you, GOD, I didn't have to go there, and for the fact that I've known my First Father for years. I was truly blessed when I found Norma's mother (Grandmother Carolyn) and she immediately gave me the name of my First Father. She said Norma died telling her whole family never to forget that I would someday find them...tears.

It was truly a healing night for me. Thank you, Val, for reaching out to me so lovingly. Thank you for making me real and for making my Mother real. For including a beautiful tribute in picture and verse to all those in the graduating class who were deceased. For allowing me to be there.

7 comments:

Lori said...

I think that is wonderful. I am sorry that spiteful nosy old women were pushing you around trying to make sure their idiot husbands weren't your father.....

I so wish my daughter showed the least bit of interest in who I really am. When I die, as long as the situation remains the same, she will not be able to meet a single friend of mine - foster care moves people a lot.

*Peach* said...

(((Lori))),
I'm sorry your daughter hasn't reached out. It took me so many years and feelings to unthaw. You have the chance to leave her your own words and legacy in your blog and personal words and momentos you can save for her and your descendents. They will be so cherished and healing. I would give anything to have something my Mother personally wrote me...but she wasn't in the place or thought to do it...it all probably seemed like a dream to her to ever find me. Adoption is so traumatic to hearts and families. Hugs to you.
Psalm 103:2-5

maybe said...

How wonderful! This post left me teary-eyed.

Von said...

So happy for you Peach!

Lori said...

@Peach, yes, she could have things written by me, but that isn't the me that is real. Personally, she has chosen this. We have met, she spent a week in my house when my husband died. She chose silence and or flat out ugliness, not I. My blog...well, while some of my thoughts are there, many are not and the who that I am is definitely not represented except marginally.

It is, after all, her choice that did this...so I, in all fairness, must move forward. I just truly wish that she was not so angry and more open to contact and belief that it can be something good.

*Peach* said...

Oh Lori, I'm so sorry that week wasn't what it should have been. I hope as time goes by your relationship will be able to go forward also. She doesn't know what she is missing. (((Hugs)))

Lori said...

@Peach, Actually this has been so rocky for almost a decade, not just this last week. I often read adoptees blogs, with the good, the bad and the indifferent, and one thing I do see in them is that she is a total exception to all the others. I don't know that she will ever get past what is happening and honestly, I am 49 and a widow and do not have time to wait for her to get something going on in her world that is positive in terms of me. I miss her...the times she is there, she is what I knew she could be.