Friday, May 6, 2011

The Sacrifice of Love

The summer of 1961 was a hot one.  She was young, only a few months into seventeen.  She lived with her parents, her sister and brother.  Life was typical in Richmond, Kentucky at that time.  She baby sat and would spend time with her friends and older sister.

He was spending the summer with his sisters.  He was born in Dayton, Ohio, but split his time between there with his mother and in Richmond with his sisters and grandparents.  One sister lived on the Kentucky River and it was a perfect place to spend your eighteenth summer.

They met that summer and began spending time together, but the path of first love is never easy.  We've all been through that first heartbreak.  He got into trouble and left town, not to return for many years.

But you see?  There was a reminder of that first love left behind.  Soon, the realization of what that reminder was became known by the family.  The young girl went to live in Louisville, Kentucky, with other girls that were in her same situation.

The details of that summer, I never ask about.  The details of the following years, I discuss with her at times.  I know that as she worked as a waitress, she would occasionally see a young girl with a family passing through.  She'd study the various children.  Who's eyes does she have?  Does she look like my mother?  Does she look like him?  She was always searching for that lost little girl.

In 1992, I had some heath related issues.  I needed to open my adoption file to see what health problems might be hereditary.  At two in the afternoon on an early Spring day, my doctor called to let me know my biopsy was clean.  At three in the afternoon on that same day, the judge called to give me my birth mother's name and phone number and stated there was a note in my file from her.  The note said that she wanted to meet me if I ever came looking.

In early June, I made my way to Richmond, Kentucky.  I met the woman who gave me life.  I met my sister, my nephew and I even met my birth father's sisters. 

After I spend three days getting to know my new family, my birth mother and I hugged as we said good-bye.  She whispered to me, "Now I feel whole again."

It's been nineteen years since I received that phone call from the judge.  It changed my life.  Most reunions are not like ours.  We're the lucky ones.

Like my birth mother, I feel whole.  I didn't even know I had pieces missing. 

Happy Mothers Day.  The gift you gave me, I treasure.  The gifts you continue to give me, amaze me.

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