Gratitude Sunday: Love Child

Gratitude * Sunday

Quote of the Week “The great thing about growing older is you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” Madeleine L’Engle

Sunday Haiku
Earth warms, flowers bloom,
trees blossom, pollen drifts on
lazy air currents.

Sunday Musings
We celebrated the hubster’s Medicare birthday this weekend. He never thought he’d live past his 18th birthday, but no. He’s been subject to me for the last 43 years, and not allowed to die. Not yet.

For the last 17 years there’s been a bit of a pall on his birthday, as my father died the day after the hubster’s birthday in 2001, so I am always sad those days. I was with Dad when he passed. In our society we don’t spend much time with our dying elders. If you’ve never been with a person while they are dying, you will find it is quite the sacred moment to experience another person’s final breath.

Normally in my family, birthdays and other holidays are quiet, simple affairs. We don’t have the income or budget to go all out, or even dinner out. Despite my best efforts most of the birthdays for hubster and the son have been epic fails on my part. The meal fails, or the cake falls, or the gift does not satisfy; I don’t know why, it just is what it is. A favorite meal, and one small present, usually something needed like a fishing license that gives a year’s worth of fun, and a home-made cake with birthday wishes, has been our tradition. The hubster is fond of steak, so once a year, he gets a steak, even if I have to cash in bottles and cans. Let’s ignore that I make him chose and cook his own steak, because if I do it the meat won’t be edible. I still have not learned how to choose meat, and somehow I kill the expected eating experience when I cook meat. I can handle the cake just fine, and my butter cream frosting is to die for, not that I want anyone to die from eating my home-made cake or frosting.

This celebration was different than our usual as our family dynamics have changed. The hubster was an adopted child and 65 years ago adoption was done differently. Unwed mothers were shuffled off to neverland to have the baby in privacy, shame, and anonymity. His adoption was handled through personal acquaintances in two families and a private attorney, not through an agency. He was raised as an only child and after the hubster’s adoptive parents died we inherited all the paperwork, and while sworn to secrecy during their lifetimes, the paper trail gave us all the clues we needed to figure out who his bio-family was.

Interestingly, his parents lived in the same metro area as he did, though closer to my family’s home than the west Portland area hubster was raised in. Cross-over facts include his brothers being in the same scout troop as my brothers, his younger sisters graduating high school in the same classes as my younger brothers, my mom was their Avon lady. We’ve crossed tracks in myriad ways that will come out over the next years as we share our stories while getting to know these new-old family members. I hardly know what to call them, as their biological ties are as old as he is, but our current knowledge of each other is only a couple months old.

The hubster is luckier than some. His bio-father and mother went on to marry a couple years later and had 6 more children together. He is the oldest of 7. The best part? He was not a child of shame, or rape, or error. He is a child of love, his being is because of passion, not fear, as evidenced by the fact his parents married, had other children together, and grew old together.

While his bio-family knew about him, their auntie who made the arrangements with hubster’s adoptive parents was sworn to secrecy. They did not know what last name he was adopted under; they did not know what first name he’d been given by his adoptive parents. They did not know he was living in the same city, thinking he’d been adopted and raised in the remote rural town in which his mother had given birth to him. I’m grateful, after years of expected rejection, he is being welcomed as the long lost son, the older brother, another crotchety old uncle.

His new-old family arrived with pizza and beer, cake and candles, balloons and presents. There were no black balloons or black anything, and no “over the hill” jokes. They called it his “First Birthday”. They are right about that in so many ways: his first birthday with his forever bio-family, his first birthday as the oldest of 7 children, the first birthday he gets to celebrate with them.

In my experience, life is never easy. Life comes with twists and turns, sometimes harboring boogeymen around every corner. Life comes with dead ends, hairpin curves, and seemingly un-exitable round-abouts. Sometimes it brings people into your life who were there all along, you just didn’t know where they were, and they don’t know where you are. And when you find each other? Priceless. Like a first birthday.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – A bright yellow azalea. The mass of pink blooms outside my bedroom window. Variety of greens and magentas tucked between gray rocks. A bumble-de-bee critter in my pink rhododendron.

Current View {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Molly’s Game (2017, rated R) about an Olympic competitor who suffers a devastating back injury during competition which throws her out of contention, then happens upon an opportunity with the ability to gain huge quantities of money, starting out simply enough as high-stakes poker games, then venturing into the realms of the illegal. As a woman, Molly is taken advantage of by men time and again, no matter how hard she tries to stay ahead of the game. I know like two things about poker, and even less about gambling, so it was a little hard to connect with the story, except for the being taken advantage of part. * Still bingeing through Blue Bloods (2010 – 2018, rated TV – 14). So many seasons and can be viewed in 45 minute segments. A story about a family with strong bonds, who can disagree without falling apart, though they have the advantages of affluence, education, and employment. Those elements would likely make any family stronger.

Currently ReadingI’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer (2018, true crime) by Michelle McNamara. Glued to the couch, trying to beat the library due date. Author takes quite an adventure following the trail of this murderer.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Lilacs.
  • Lilacs.
  • Lilacs.
  • Everywhere I went this week smelled like lilacs.
  • Opening my bedroom window to the smell of lilacs.
  • The rhododendron outside my bedroom has bloomed so when I open my curtain I see a mass of pink blossoms.
  • The distinctive fragrance and particular bright yellow of scotch broom blooming wild along the road.
  • Connecting the hubster to his bio-family and how they welcome him as part of their family.
  • A house full of family celebrating, the stories, the laughter, the smiles, the hugs.
  • Watching little hummingbirds dart around outside the aquatic center while I work-out.
  • The huge plate glass windows at the aquatic center so I can enjoy watching the birds while I work-out.
  • Still kicking while looking forward to my own Medicare birthday later this year.
  • Farmers market finds: tiny, sweet, first pick of the season carrots, spicy greens, asparagus.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Family, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Nature, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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