You know the drill--should I make that phone call? Will I be rebuffed again? Can I talk to my mother without the daughter she lives with (my half sister who sent me a wretched email) listening in? If I send a card/gift to my son/daughter will they acknowledge it? If I call my 15-year-old daughter will I be able to talk to her, or will this upset her adoptive parents and make life more difficult for her? Will she be cold if I call? What if she doesn't answer the phone? Should I contact a cousin, the only one in my biological family who is willing to be in contact with me?
Or even worse: Where is my birth mother/father? Twenty years of searching has led nowhere. Why doesn't the woman I am pretty sure/positive is my mother respond to my letter? Phone call? Why won't my son/daughter even acknowledge my existence? It goes on and on.
As I've written before, when I didn't know my daugher--and even when I did--I couldn't get through Silent Night with having to squelch back tears until the sensation in my throat felt like a lump of coal, nearly suffocating me.
Enough of this. Life isn't fair. We know that. Whether natural mother or child lost to adoption, we know that we didn't deserve the hand we got. What to do? We can carry on and cry and moan and make ourselves miserable (been there, done that) or eventually pick ourselves up, dust ourselves, off, etc. and get on with life. I don't mean to sound like a pack of Chinese fortune cookies here with bromides one, two, three, but it is true that the only way to go on is to make the best of our lives and try to find some way to use the sorrow that adoption has meant to us. Try to help someone else understand they are not alone. We understand their grief because we share it. And because we have this grief, we can be more emphatic, serious people. As a friend of mine says of lightweight people: He hasn't been cut.
Cut. Had some sorrow enter his life, turning him into a more compassionate individual. Since that is our fate--that we have all been cut--let us accept it with grace and use it with alacrity, wherever we can, whenever we can. I've been gorging Downton Abbey this weekend as PBS has run all 52 episodes, and periodically I weep over some of the same scenes I did before, or note the wit of the lines given to the Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet. I see that my own life could be configured to make the one of the sad stories. (Lady Edith without the happy ending.) But my point here is how finally the haughty, imperious and often nasty Lady Mary gains compassion by the end, but to do so, she had to be cut by tragically losing a husband. Only then, and several seasons later, did the writers give her character empathy and fellow feeling--especially for her normally luckless-in-love sister, Lady Edith.
Let us all be our own Lady Marys. The grief of our neighbors or a someone who might be a friend may not be the same as ours, but having been cut, let us extend our understanding and compassion to them. We could not do that, but why not? It might be an opportunity once missed we will never come again.
Of course I wouldn't mind if in doing so, we got some of Lady Mary's fabulous outfits.--lorraine
Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection Wow, that would be like too much dessert, eventually overkill but what pleasure getting to that point. Someone gave me Season Four but that's it.