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Day Thirteen: Serially Found

On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today’s Prompt: write about finding something.

Tell us about the time you retrieved your favorite t-shirt from your ex. Or when you accidentally stumbled upon your fifth-grade journal in your parents’ attic. Or how about the moment you found out the truth about a person whose history or real nature you thought you’d figured out. Interpret this theme of “finding something” however you see fit.

Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined. To read my response to this twist, please read Choosing Adoption Part 4.

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The Letter

Dad had passed away in February of 1997. It took months of persuading, but we finally talked mom into downsizing and moving into a patio home. The night before she was to sign the papers for the sale of their house and the papers for the purchase of a new one-floor home, mom passed away.

I found her that morning in bed. She’d died quietly in her sleep. Downstairs on the couch was a Book of Remembrance my sister and I had made for dad. She’d had it out looking at it. In my heart I think she just couldn’t bear to leave the home they’d known together for so long. And that night God spared her that heartache.

mom's letterTwo months later, having put the sale of the house off from October till just before Christmas, we were sorting the house out, packing pictures from her shelves in boxes. My sister was looking at mom and dad’s wedding picture and thought it was odd that the back was kind of warped. She took it out of the frame and found a letter my mother had written nearly 25 years before. It was a letter about dad.

Mom was always a private person. Never did she share memories from her first marriage or even her growing up years. We knew very little about her life before dad. When we’d ask her about it, she’d just say there was nothing good to tell. But we were about to learn a few things.

Dad was always bigger than life to us kids. In a contest of who loved us more, he would have won hands down. Kids don’t always see things for what they really are, however. Mom’s letter was a recounting of the SEVERAL times he’d “stepped out” on her, and the two times he actually left. Perhaps the letter was a passive aggressive thing on her part, or perhaps it was the only way she could be brave enough to find her voice. Whatever it was, it was certainly enlightening.

It’s a hard thing to find out your parents are just human after all. We got a crash course in human that day. I was aware of one incident in the letter because of my involvement in it, but in my childish optimism I think I figured when dad came home all was well. So though I wasn’t as shocked as my sister, dad’s continual philandering came as a bit of a surprise.

dad's poetryThe real kicker was that when his lordship and I and my brother-in-law drove down to Quartzsite, Arizona to clean out and sell their trailer where they spent the winters, his lordship found a journal of poetry my dad had written. Seems there was someone down in Quartzsite to whom he was writing love poems. Have to admit it made us look at our parents’ marriage in a whole new light.

Truth be told, we realize now that mom, who was kind of shy but quick of temper, got the short end of the stick when it came to our affection. Sometimes I wish I could just have five minutes with her again to let her know we finally heard what she had to say, and we finally understand where all her hurt and anger came from. I know it would change our relationship with her.