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Carrie was one of my mothers.* the one who carried me in her womb and gave me life.

I met Carrie when i was 64 and she was almost 80  I visited with her, maybe four times over a ten year period.  The last time, she did not know who i was..  She and Max also came out to visit uis once in Boise.  She had been on my mind, off and on, for 51 years. and i had had a name to attach to my fantasies since i was 19.  Her name. and  Max's appeared on a birth certificate semt to me by BVS by mistake.  I showed it to my mother, Lillian, who claimed no knowledge of who those people were.  At age 64, i discovered that she had probably lied.

Carrie was  part of the second American born generation of Dutch immigrants

* I have always been a liittle uncomfortable referring to Carrie as ny biological mom and Lillian as my adoptive mom.  It seems a bit disrespectful to both women.  Why should i have to explain why I call two women "mom."

In the Hawiian(?) system of kinship nomenclature, used by more cultuires than any other. all a  person's mother's sisters and all a person's father's sisters are called mother.  In most other systems as well, more than one person is called mother,  And those  labels are definitive and important to the people who use them;

I think we could all use several mothers.  When Lillian died, i still had a mother for  ten more years.

On arriving at their homestead in the U.S. West. the grandparents became dairy farmers and converts to the Plymouth Brethern church.

To the Plymouth Brethern, they are Christians and it is  highly improbable that any one else is.  In this community people  do not rape one another, especially relatives.  So, of couse, such a thing could not happen, did not happen.  The community's reality was  that Carrie was  always a willful child, less obedient and less faithful than other girls.  She had fooled around with her boyfriend and gotten pregnant.  It was God's punishment when the child was stillborn.  This was the story, so far as i know, which is the community's truth to this day.

Carrie shared the real story of my conception and birth in  a letter she wrote to me a few months before our first face to face meeting.  Her story was brief, complete, matter of fact, without regret, resentment or self-pity.  I tried to imagine the process through which she came to this level of acceptance and finally concluded that it was always there.  This was a woman i wanted to meet irrespective of our personal relationship.  My assumption was correct.

She reminded me a lot of Dianne.  They were both farm girls, both very "together"  Rural women were the only group in Germany that voted solidly agaInst Hitler in 1932,  Maybe there is something to that dating website commercial -- "City girls just don't get it."

I did not ask her a lot of questions.  I just wanted to be near her and knew that such opportunties would be few, brief, and extened over only a few years.  And that was true and those were precious hours, and when, at the end, she did not recognize me, it  hurt.

She died in 2006 at age 89.  Her estate went to the local junior college as a memorial to her other son.  It provides academic scholarships for "C students."


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 8th, 2016 10:09 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. There certainly is no need to explain why you feel you had two mothers but it is beautiful. I'm glad you knew Carrie.
Nov. 9th, 2016 04:09 am (UTC)
I'm glad you thought the entry was beautiful.
She was beautiful.
Nov. 8th, 2016 10:20 pm (UTC)
I like those scholarships.
Nov. 9th, 2016 04:10 am (UTC)
Yeah. I'm thinking about adding a bit to it.
Nov. 15th, 2016 06:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your experience having met your blood relative. It is a very deeply personal thing to go through, and I can only imagine what it could be like. I appreciate the opportunity to have seen it through your eyes.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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