My Life Story, sorta

Every family has a throw away child somewhere in it’s history, you know the one that I mean, the one where when the mother finds out she is pregnant no one is thrilled because they know without a doubt that the mother is not capable of taking care of that child. In my family that child was me, I don’t say this to garner sympathy, it is simply a fact, I have known it all my life. My mother, God rest her soul, was neither mentally or emotionally capable of being a real mother to any of her children, she gave all of us away. I spent years being angry with her, for what I perceived as her inadequacies, weaknesses really, what I thought of as weakness was really a strength, she knew her limitations and knew her children would be better off with people capable of raising them. Some of us fared better than others, I was a lucky one.
My grandparents were the ones that raised me from the time I was born until I was five years old, the time between then until I was 12 I ignore. It is my life and if I choose to ignore those years I get to, when I was 12 it was back to my grandparents. Now I will admit right here and now I was an unmitigated brat, I was spoiled beyond belief, after all I was being raised by grandparents and a great aunt that allowed me to say anything I wanted, do anything I wanted and gave me anything I wanted, all without consequence. So by the time I was 13 I was a mess, wild, undisciplined and a little out of control, I say this to explain what I am going to say next.
When my grandfather died I was completely devastated, the first hero of my short life was gone, my rock, my reality completely gone. My world imploded, I knew it was going to be changed, I didn’t know how much. I don’t remember the exact timeline of this next event; I do remember it was after the funeral, I was sitting outside on the back porch of my grandparent’s house. One of my Uncles, and I am not going to say which one, there is no need now to say names, came out, hunkered down and said we are all in there trying to decide what to do with you and no one wants to take you. I didn’t know what to say so I said nothing; I just sat there looking straight ahead. He got up and went back in, I just sat there with my cat, alone, thinking, I know my grandma wants me, she has to, she was the only real mother I had ever known.
The next thing that happened was my Aunt Odela came out, sat down next to me and began to swing her legs like a little kid, which made me smile. She was literally the nicest person in our family, she looked over at me and said “I’d really like it if you came to Owasso and spent the summer with me.” There was no mention of no one wanting me and she was stuck with me, it was a simple I want you to come visit with us and get to know our side of the family. Her husband, my Uncle Foy was my grandfather’s brother, and while I had seen them time after time through the years I really didn’t know them.
So after school was out they came and got me and took me to Owasso, to the country, where I met my best friend in the entire world, Tammi, where I explored the creek, the ponds and the railroad tracks. Where I learned discipline, humor and true kindness. At the end of the summer my Aunt said I would really like it if you came to live with us permanently, by that point I was in love with her, I said yes without a second thought. After that my Aunt and Uncle asked if they could adopt me.
They always made everything my choice, I didn’t know until much later, that my grandfather had contacted his brother before he passed and asked him to please take me. When I was born my aunt and uncle had actually asked my birth mother if they could take me and raise me, my grandmother said no. I also found out from my best friend Tammi, that before I even came to Owasso that my mom told her that she was getting another daughter. That I thought I was coming for the summer but she was not letting me go, I was going to be hers. The throwaway child was no longer thrown away, I had two people that actually wanted me and was happy I was there.
I say all this because I heard a couple of times this past week about how I just disappeared, I would like to take this moment to point out I never did. I was always in contact with my grandmother, we wrote letters, I called and I visited. I spent weekends with her and Aunt Effie at my Uncle J.H. and Aunt Laura Fay’s home, they always knew how I was and where I was. The other adults in my life, never once called my adopted parents and asked how I was doing, if I was adjusting, were there any issues. I always thought they were secretly relieved I was gone, the one that no one really wanted in the first place. I don’t mean my cousins, they probably never even knew where I was, I am talking about my aunts and uncles, my birth mothers siblings, with the exception of one. You never called, you never wrote, you knew where I was, you had a meeting to draw straws on who would have to take me. The loser was going to have to take me. I understand my Uncle Foy stood up at that point and quietly said, we want her. I want you all to know they didn’t consider it a losing venture, I had a great life, I was loved, wanted and taught a great many things.
I missed all of you, my cousins, second cousins and aunts and uncles, I am not angry about what happened, I am not bitter, my life is exactly the way it should be, I had great parents, I have amazing children and now I have my cousins again. I am so overwhelmed by the sense of belonging I feel now when I am with them. Getting to see Patrick yesterday was the most amazing thing, finding out Richard, Anne, Patty, Bill and James and their families live within 45 minutes of me, I cannot begin to explain how wonderful that is. Staying in my cousin Cindy’s home, feeling completely at home there, finding my touchstone again, it is nothing short of miraculous, so to my Uncle who told me about the meeting that was taking place, I say thank you, you words directed my life in a way that was nothing short of amazing. I had the best parents, I have my best friend and I have my children because of you. What you did for me, is help me, at the age of 13, take control of my life and direct it in such a way that I might not have done if I had not had those words said to me.
As I said, I am not angry, bitter or anything else negative, I am grateful, grateful I got to have such great parents, grateful my mother knew enough to give me up, grateful for my cousins, aunts and uncles, grateful to have everyone in my life.

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