Last year was difficult as I thought I had reached the end of my 34 year quest to find my birth mother. After the excitement of being accepted onto the ITV programme Long Lost Families they contacted me with good and bad news.
‘They had found my mother, but, she did not want to meet me’
This was my worse case scenario to be honest, it felt like another rejection. However, life goes on and I’m fortunate to have a good life, a life where I feel loved by those around me so it was not the end of my world but just another step along the way. (I wrote about the journey to this point in blogs)
Fast forward to February this year. Sat in my office at work a phone call from my partner ‘ your mother has rung and has asked whether you still want to meet her?’ what…….????
Making that first phone call was one of the strangest I have ever had to make. It was all a bit remote as if we were speaking to an acquaintance we had lost contact with many years previously. Neither of us knew how to address the other, I called her by her surname. In subsequent phone calls she introduces herself as ‘Wales calling’ and I introduce myself as ‘Cornwall calling’! I would have no problem addressing her as ‘Mum’ but her husband knows nothing of her past so I am a distant relative from Cornwall.
After that first conversation my first thought was of my sibling, who I only met 4 years ago. They knew nothing of me yet accepted me fully when I turned up on their door step and announced myself as their long-lost half-sister. Indeed I’ve been living in their home for the past 7 months as I relocate to Cornwall.
Our experience of not knowing our mother have been very different. My concern at this stage was that finding my mother had been my quest, not theirs. This was a very emotional moment when I sat next to them on their sofa and told them ‘Betty’ had rung. Their shock was palpable as the tears involuntarily fell. I wanted to see my mother, but was unsure how they felt about it, I suppose I was asking for their permission in some sense. Their response was let’s go NOW!
So the next day we made the 8 hour journey to see our mother, mine for the fist time, whilst my sibling has not seen her since a remembered traumatic separation when they were only 4 years old.
Together we arrived at her home at 9am, shoulder to shoulder with our respective bunches of flowers whilst mouthing ‘shit’ to one another as we turned the corner to her home and saw her standing on the door step waiting for us.
It was a good day, a lot of questions were answered. The story we heard was one of incredible cruelty, and a massive injustice to this women, our mother, and ultimately to us, as lives we might have had were stolen by the selfishness of others……
One of the moments I cherish of that first day was as my sibling asked her if it was okay for us to stay a little longer, she grabbed their hand and without hesitation said ‘I don’t care if today never ends’.
Why am I writing this today? I had no intention in sharing this when I woke up this morning, but it is her birthday today and I have sent a card to my mother for the first time. I’ve had to send it as a friend in Cornwall to protect her, so I’m going to write it here instead and share it with the little world that exists around this blog
‘Happy Birthday Mum’