Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Saying goodbye .....

Going through my grandfather's effects after his death, we found several letters and photographs. Shuffling through them, I came across one that I'd forgotten even existed, and seeing it brought tears to my eyes.
Somehow during the intervening years, I've lost the picture, but I have a clear memory of it, even now.  It's a photo of my uncle, my uncle's wife, and me -- taken just before we left for the drive "home" after my grandmother's funeral.
The three of us are posed in front of the family car, a station wagon.  Hitched to it, a small U-Haul trailer carrying all my worldly possessions.

The end of the beginning .....

The days immediately following my grandmother's death are rather hazy now.  My uncle's wife soon arrived, having made arrangements for the care of her children and then driven 800+ miles to reach my grandfather's house.  Of course, my mother (my grandmother's daughter) was notified and, as with her relinquishment of my brother and I a decade prior, there are conflicting stories about her response.
She was never financially well-off, and she simply didn't have the money to fly from the West Coast.  When we talked later in life, she said she told her brother and father that she wanted to attend the funeral, but just couldn't unless they paid the airfare.  My uncle's version was that she said she'd ONLY attend the funeral if one of them paid the airfare.  He never hesitated to remind me how "selfish" and "unsuccessful" she was. 

A side note:  When someone makes disparaging comments about an adoptee's first parent(s), it's like making a disparaging comment about the adoptee him/herself.  After all, we are the biological offspring of our first parents.  They are part of us and we are part of them, whether or not we have a relationship with them or even know them.  Please be respectful of that.