Three years ago today, my grandmother passed away. I was very close to her and my grandpa growing up. She would have been 77 this year. During my lunch break, I picked up my dad from work and we went to visit his parents. It was a good experience for us to spend that time together.
I had many reasons for going to see her grave today. The most important reason being that on Friday, me and my son, along with my parents are traveling to Seattle, WA to visit with her first born daughter. I will be meeting her for the first time in my life. I grew up knowing that I have 3 uncles who, along with my dad, are the 4 sons of my grandparents. The only 4 children of my grandparents.
About 6 months ago, this woman showed up on my uncle’s door step claiming to be his sister. She was my grandmother’s first born daughter, a daughter she had when she was 14. She gave her up to family and left the area with the promise that she would stay in the child’s life. She failed on that promise and 8 years later, when the caretaker (aunt) of the little girl passed away, my grandma went back for her daughter. At 8 years old, her daughter refused to go with my grandma. At that point, my grandma went home, started her family, and cut off all contact with her daughter. We dont know if my grandpa knew about Louise. [She has my grandma’s middle name] For 50 years, my grandma never told a soul about her daughter. Not even when she knew she was going to die.
My dad was the “first” born and his birth certificate has the box checked that asks the mother if she has had any previous live births. Everyone thought that maybe there was another child born first, but that maybe the baby had died or was still born. No one ever asked. My grandma never told her secrets. Even to my other grandma who was her best friend for 30 years.
Now that the secret is out, we want to be apart of Louise’s family because we are her family. So we go to Seattle. And I cannot wait to meet the woman who looks just like my grandma, and who moves her furniture all around just like my grandma used to do. I want this part of my life to be filled and I want her to meet my son, and me, and know that she can be loved by our family too, even if my grandma was never able to show her that.
I’m not angry at my grandma in any way. In some ways, I understand her. She was a child with a child and she was probably very scared. I love my grandma and always will honor her memory, despite her choices. I want her love for our family to always live on, through all of us and though us and her daughter to share together.
2 more days until we leave to complete our family….