Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Big Secret

I once had a friend that was so friendly that going with her to a public place was a nightmare. She would stop and talk to everybody she came in contact with, especially if they had a baby or a small child. She would ooh and aah over the little person, like they were the most adorable little creature on the face of the earth. It used to bug me to no end. I would ask her, "Why do you find it necessary to talk to everybody in the universe"? She never gave me a straight answer. She didn’t know why, she just liked people, she guessed. Going with her to a place like the County Fair was like going out with a celebrity. Not only did she know everybody, but everybody knew her as well.

Alice was the most popular person I ever knew in my life. We were very good friends and were neighbors to begin with. I became widowed and moved to another part of town, but we remained friends and since she didn’t drive anything, but a golf cart, I would take her anyplace she wanted to go. We laughed a lot and that was why I enjoyed her company so much. She could make something funny out of almost anything. Sometimes I could make her laugh. One time as we were driving down a street and a group of people were standing on the sidewalk and after we passed them, I said, "Oh my gosh! I forgot to stop so you could talk to those people". She answered, "Smart Aleck". It was that sort of thing that went on between us constantly.

One time we drove to a small nearby town on a whim. We both said later, that we enjoyed that little outing more than anything in our lives. We were in our seventies at the time, and had nothing, but time on our hands. She passed away a few years ago, and I cannot tell you how much I miss her. We had many serious conversations about our past lives. She had a grown son and daughter. We had no secrets between us, or so I thought.

About a year after she passed away, I was invited to the 90th Birthday party of Jo, who was a sister of my friend. Jo had called me and told me there would be a special guest at the party. It seems that years and years ago Alice had a baby that she gave up for adoption at birth. She was divorced from her husband and had her two children to support. The EX was not helping with the support at all and lived in another state so she felt she had no choice, but to give up the baby.

He was the special guest that would be at the party. In all those years that we had discussed everything in the world, she had never shared that little incident with me. Nobody in her family knew about the adoption except her sister. So I met her long lost son at the party. He said his adopted father had passed away and he was at his adopted mothers bedside just before she passed away, when she told him that he had been adopted. He was totally shocked. He did not have a clue that he had been adopted. He was an only child.

His mother told him the name of his biological mother and the city she was living in when he was adopted. It took him about a year to digest the whole thing, but finally decided to see if he could find her. He didn’t have any trouble tracking her down and found that she had just passed away a few months before. His biological father had also passed away. He was invited to the party and we all got to meet him and he was very friendly, just like his mother, and was also very happy to find that he had a brother and sister. Brother and sister were just as surprised, as he was to find out about him. He lives in another state, but is keeping in touch and visits with his new family.
Now, I understand why she was so enamored with babies and small children, I think she was always searching for the baby she had given away.

The new brother is Chris (the one in the pink shirt) Mike to his left. Sister is in front of him and Aunt Jo. The other lady is Mike's wife, sorry I can't remember her name.


2Grandmas2 said...

Wow...I can't think of any thing else to say. Just wow.


Stephanie Frieze said...

What a bittersweet story, Lorrene. I am glad that Alice's child was able to find his family even if he didn't get to know her.

jamiegirl said...

Isn't it strange that sometimes we think we know our own friends so well (even when they drive us crazy on occassion)and they can still manage to surprise us. She sounds like a friend you must miss. I've been reading you ever since I heard about you in the paper Lorrene and look forward to reading your blog. Thanks for sharing.

jan geronimo said...

What an insightful, exquisite story, Lorrene. Made me laugh out loud, made me pensive. You're such a joy to read. Thanks for sharing this story.

Rygel said...

Wow it's not often I come across a story like this