A bombshell was dropped on me recently when I was with my brother, Paul, in B.C. to bury our father.
Driving down the highway, Paul told me that our cousin, “Gretchen”, is in touch with our mother’s best friend. We do not know her name, just that she’s there. Somewhere.
It makes me wonder…why did Gretchen never tell me all these decades that she was in touch with this woman? Why did Gretchen’s mother, my beloved Aunt Maria never tell me? I know my birth mother had a best friend; they took trips together. They did everything together. I can’t help but think that my mother would have talked to her BFF without discussing her pregnancy and my adoption. I also believe that this woman, now probably in her 80’s, would have stories and viewpoints that would be different from my family. After all, it’s oftentimes easier to talk to friends than family.
So why didn’t Gretchen ever tell me? Why did my brother tell me just now? I told him he needs to get this woman’s name and number. I want to meet her. I want to talk to her. I want to know details about my mother. More details. Perhaps I’m obsessed but every little bit of extra information makes Gwen, my birth mother, less of a mystery.
I’ll be honest, last night after returning from B.C., I collapsed into bed after the rough, emotional weekend. And I thought. I thought about Gwen. I thought about her BFF. I fantasized about this woman waiting for me, waiting to talk to me. Waiting to tell me a secret Gwen told her to tell me should this woman ever meet me. I fantasized that this woman would have a tape recording of Gwen’s voice. Fantasy can be a heartwarming thing.
But fantasy can be destructive. If I meet this woman and she has nothing to say, I will be crestfallen. I will survive, but I will be crestfallen. I will wonder why I pursued such a fantasy. Why do I consider this fantasy? Isn’t it time I put everything to bed? After thirty-five years, shouldn’t I just move on? All this stuff has consumed me for three and a half decades. Yet still I think, why do things keep popping up? Is this a gift from God? Would I be remiss in ignoring it? God gives us options. I will possibly have the option to meet this woman. I will also have the option to decide not to do so. I will decided if and when the opportunity presents itself. But let’s be honest…does anyone who reads this really think I won’t seek out this woman??
Nevertheless, a fantasy can be fantastic. Until I meet this woman, IF I meet this woman, I can entertain myself with beautiful images of my mother. Images that I never had before. Thoughts that will comfort me. And if I meet this woman and there’s nothing substantial to share, she’s one more connection, however slight to the woman who did everything for me. The woman who put her life on hold and put my well-being first. This woman. This mother. This Gwen.