In my last post here, I talked about how my son and grandson value the idea of family traditions and are each doing their part to preserve them. My grandson through genealogy research of the past, my son through taking charge of plans for a family reunion in the future.
Add to my family endeavors lately, a cousin who was going through abdominal surgery. Everything went well, better than well, and she's doing fine by the way. But, back to my point. In the course of helping to see her through this, we talked some about our family and a little about family history. Specifically, the grandmother we both shared.
Mimi was a loving and kind and caring and compassionate woman. She was devoted to our family. My grandfather, her two daughters and four grandchildren. She was a true lady in every sense of the word. Like me, Mimi didn't cook much, as I recall. Holidays and family gatherings at her house were not so much focused on food, but about being together, about sharing each other's company. Every chance I got, I would do sleepovers at her house. The times I spent being at her house, with her, are some of my favorite childhood memories.
One day I remember she was looking through the paper and made the comment that she had just read that one of her brothers had died. I had met one of her sisters she was close to, but never knew she had a brother. It wasn't until I was much older, and Mimi was gone, that I learned why.
My grandma was eighteen and my grandpa twenty-four when they, horror of horrors at the time, conceived a child out of wedlock, my mother. According to some of the family records my grandson has discovered, they were married in February, my mother was born in July. Her birth certificate had 'illegitimate' stamped across it. An unfortunate stigma she was forced to live with. My sweet, caring, loving, giving grandmother, as it turns out, was disowned by her family. Because she fell in love and had a child.
There's a story in there somewhere. One I do plan to tell someday. Which brings me to a little bit about one I have already told.
My first book Honorable Intentions has to do with an out of wedlock child. That didn't stop my hero, Chase Canfield, from being a loving and devoted father.
mother and I never married. I’m a little, no, a lot embarrassed to admit Lisa
was the product of what turned out to be a one night stand.” Regret tinged his
voice as he went on. “I was very young, and incredibly stupid, but I’m not one
bit sorry she’s here. I didn’t even know I had a child for a couple of years. I
met my daughter for the first time when she was almost three.” He didn’t wait for
her response. “I had to fight for every moment with her. First, I obtained a
court order to be able to submit to a paternity test. Then it was back to court
to fight for visitation rights. Monica sure doesn’t make it easy.” He paused,
lost in some private reflection. “I’ll never forget the first time I saw my
little girl.” His voice was a mixture of pain bolstered by sturdy resolve. “Do
you know what it’s like to look at your child for the first time and see fear,
of you, reflected in their eyes?”
My favorite saying comes from a wise man sometimes known as Doctor Seuss. "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd.
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