I had commented on facebook that I had found some uncles. One of our fellow Cyburs suggested that there was a specific "Bear" that had been talking on this subject.
Certianly not enough time to provide all the details but will give you the short version of the story.
Evidently in 1942 my grandmother "took up" with the married man down the road. I think I can hear her turning over in her grave cause I am telling that publically.
The product of that was my mother. My mother was with her mother for 18 months and was then put in foster care. AT the age of 5 her mother came back and took her back from the only family she really knew. My mother never got over being mad at her mother for that. My grandmother was angry at my mother for acting out and their relationship was ALWAYS strained.
So the family had only tiny clues to who my mother's father was. We heard trucker, soldier and only much later about the "taking up".
My grandma died in 1991 from cancer. I have always thought that this situation just ate her up inside. She stuffed all that crap all her life.
Over the Christmas holiday my brother and I were talking about her father and what information we had. We decided that one of us should try to make contact and if it goes badly then we would just not tell mom and none the worse in the situation.
Her father had past away a few years before we heard the "taking up" story so we knew that we would only be contacting any living relatives.
I agreed to be the one that made the call because I had the most understanding of the situation. So I look in the phone directory of the nearby towns of the past neighbor down the road. Searched for the last name and as it was, there was an individual with that name living there.
With the birth certificate in hand I asked if they were a relative and he said a son.
I asked if he was sitting down, and then I told him that I thought my mother was his sister. He was very happy that I had made contact and said that his younger brother would very happy too.
So now these two brothers 74, and 71 have a new little sister that is 66 and they could not be happier. The younger one said that he had looked for her a bit but had no idea how to find her because once she got married there was no longer a trail. He had been waiting for her to contact him.
Here is the topper to this story. Their father had kept some things in a suitcase. They sent mom a package in the mail of these things. A letter from my grandmother to him while she is in labor. He was over seas in WWII. The telegraph
announcing her birth and his service records and metals.
When he came back he went back to his wife and sons. Even after he died his wife kept the letters so that if that little girl came looking she would have the information she was looking for. That lady remarried and still she kept the letters. And she is still alive at 94 so that she can tallk with my mom and help her find closuer. What a gracious woman.....I am so impressed with her.
So last night I spoke with the younger of the uncles and he is so happy that he has found his sister and he plans to visit and "now that he has found her he intends to keep her close..."
So my words of wisdom would be... put yourself out there and try to make contact. If you are scared have someone else do it for you. The worst that could happen is they would say they don't want contact. That is no worse than it was before. But if it goes well you might open up a new family and that family may be wishing you would make contact. Family love can be unconditional and whatever happened in the past just melts away.