You might need a cup of tea and a biscuit first as I have quite a long story to tell. I'm going to have a cuppa myself. I prefer white tea these days and have become quite addicted to this Qi Organic White Tea with orange, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. It's really warming during these rather nippy winter months.
Now that you've made your tea (or coffee, maybe juice or even a glass of wine) I can start. It's a happy and sad tale at the same time but more happy than sad I think and there's even some crochet in there too!
I've known my mum was adopted since I was a little girl. As I got older she I wanted to know about why she was adopted, what happened to her real parents and if she wanted to find them. She told me that she had been adopted as a baby and that her adoptive mother had told her that her real mother did not want her. She was told that her father was a Staff Sergeant in the American Army and that her mother had been separated from her husband when she'd met this handsome American soldier and found she was expecting my mum.
Fast forward to October 2010 and I started having this feeling that I really needed to find out about my grandmother. I really felt sad that my mother never really knew her own story and I knew it was because of her distressing upbringing that she would never have the courage to find out as the fear of rejection would have just been too much for her.
I knew my grandmother was half Norwegian and her maiden name is not a common one. I also knew the area where she used to live so I decided, with my mother's permission to search for her. I could have only hoped that she would still be alive and I prayed for something good to happen. It didn't take long.
It took me a while to find the words but I wrote a letter to the address that I had found and couldn't believe it when I got a phone call the very next morning after posting the letter. The lady on the other end of the phone had a lovely accent that I've always missed hearing as I don't live in the area that I was born anymore. She blurted out " she is your grandmother" I was shaking and couldn't think of anything to say except - Wow!
I now know that I not only have Norwegian and American heritage on my mother's side but Czech from my maternal grandfather too!
My mum and I decided that there was no time to lose and we made plans to visit her mother as soon as we could in October this year. We both live in different parts of the UK so we met up when we got there. Luckily my mum has childhood friends still there so it was a nice trip down memory lane for her too.
|My mum and I both used to play here when we were children|
Of course we all cried and it was a lovely moment that I will never forget. I'd often watched long lost relatives re-united on some tv programmes and wished I could have done the same for my mum. Well I'd done my best and while it could never make up for many lost years at least my mum knew she'd always been wanted and could now lay many ghosts to rest.
Before we traveled to visit my grandmother, I knew I wanted to take something for and I thought - what better for a grandmother than a granny stripe! I had to work fast as I had to travel in just over a week when I started it but I was very motivated! I finished it just before our second visit and left it with her daughter to give to her later on that day. It turned out that she absolutely loved it and took it with her wherever she was. Of course that made me feel very happy.
Unfortunately just a couple of weeks after we had seen her she had gone downhill and had to be admitted to a home but she took her granny stripe with her and the staff at the home reported she kept it with her always.
Sadly she died on Friday.
I was so lucky to get to meet her and even though she wasn't well she was bright, happy, cheeky and very funny. Her daughter told me she had been like that her whole life and had been a wonderful mother to her. I'm glad that the only things I'd been able to give her meant so much to her. Being able to know that her daughter had thought about her all these years and always wanted to know her and her crochet blanket to give her a little bit comfort and to know that we were thinking of her.
Grandma this post is for you. xxx
|My Grandmother at her wedding with her mum and dad|
|My Grandmother (in the back) with her mother (front)|
|My Grandmother (My mother is the spitting image of her and my daughter too!)|