I didn’t get the opportunity to grow up knowing my grandmother but I did get to know her a little at my workplace and work side by side with her at a hospital in WI. But we didn’t know we were related…until we did..and when we did…she was so kind and welcoming to me. I had no idea how that would all go when she was told and I wrote her a letter pretty much introducing myself. But my being a child born out of wedlock and coming out of the woodwork one day meant little to her..as far as I could tell.
She made me feel like she was proud I was her granddaughter and I never felt anything but kindness from her. Only a handful of meetings after we knew we were family and one in particular where I can hear her say “Isn’t she beautiful?” to another family member and you know…I never heard a grandparent say that about me before like that and it felt really nice. I’m so grateful I have something good to carry with me about her and although the plan was to go visit her in early 2020 when I had finally decided I needed to go back home to WI…those plans were changed by covid..and then changed again for good in 2021.
When I was able to go back to WI I made a point to go take a drive to the town where she had lived and raised her children. Something I had never done before and my way of just being in a place she had been alive over visiting a sad place like a graveyard. While looking on a map I realized…her home was almost directly across the lake from where I was raised. All that time…I had a family I didn’t know…just across that big ol lake. Made me laugh because of course that’s how it was. After finding out you worked with your grandmother for years and didn’t know…not a lot surprises you after that.
But anyway…thinking about her today. Wishing so much I could of had that last visit or at least been able to fly home for the funeral.
I also wish I would have known her better while she was here but I guess I need to do better at putting myself out there more for people to get to know me and be a bit more brave with people so that can even happen. I think I’ve been very busy surviving in CA and just trying to get through things here but really need to remember to take the time to reach out more. It’s been such a wonderful but equally weird thing for me to finally know who my biological family is. I have unique insight into all the emotions you feel with my own biological daughter and I understand how it can feel weird. But what a gift that is to have someone close to me truly understand exactly how it feels to have a family you don’t really know but you feel the connection and similarities. It’s kind of a mind trip at times and you do kind of don’t really know where you fit in.
My one resolution this year after a year of a roller coaster of emotions dealing with family is to be present more. While I can. Reach out more. Say the things. Have boundaries but just be more of what I would like in return. Be the example more I guess.
Rest In Peace Rosie..I’m grateful for the time I did have and I’m so grateful you finally were able to know who I was to you. At least we had that and what a huge thing that was. We may have never known..had I not had the genes I have from you. Thank you for not blinking in accepting me as part of your family. That meant the world to me. ♥️