I've been thinking a lot lately about how that ‘surrender’ 37 years ago has affected my life since. I never adjusted to living without her. I missed her continually. I worried about her, I prayed for her, and I dreamt of finding her. I wondered, what did she look like? What was her personality like? Was she healthy? Smart? Spiritual? Educated? Married? Children? Did she suffer from being surrendered and adopted? Was she truly loved and valued by her family? Did she ever think of me? What were her feelings towards me? Then there was 24 years in a bad marriage. I don't want to get into the problems there; that is not what this is about. That marriage did bear the fruit of two lovely daughters. We loved each other deeply-specially. We really had a magical relationship while they were young. We played, made music, read, shopped, picnicked, dreamed, sewed, cooked, traveled, confided, groomed, laughed, cried, rejoiced, mourned, and held hands, continually. We even argued a little through their teens. Perhaps most families can boast a similiar sharing. But the depth, breadth and constancy in our relationship was always out of the ordinary. The three of us share in our choice of our all time favorite book (which is Proud Breed by Celeste Deblasis). When the oldest daughter went to see the movie, Steal Magnolias, she came home with her eyes red and swollen. She embraced me and wept as she told me, “Mom, I told Allan, ‘That's my Mom’. You have to see this movie Mom. Sally Fields plays the Mom. The Mom is you, Mom. You have to see it. " Well I did see it, as did my youngest daughter. We, all three, love that movie. As I literally bawled my way through the experience, I wondered if my emotion was heightened due to the comparison my daughter had drawn for me. Youngest daughter agreed with older daughter, “Oh yeah. . . "
I believe that due in part to my initial loss (surrender of first born), I had a deeper appreciation of my children than many young mothers. I appreciated every moment, trying desperately to never waste a second. Through every day of life, every experience in life, we three found a way to make it more meaningful, together. So why do I say I have had a “Sappy Life"? Well, it's my life and my word. Sappy was formed from the Sad (which has been a constant in my life since that fateful day in April of 1969) and from the Happy (for the Happy Life that my two daughters and I have shared, in spite of some severe difficulties). Yes the Happy, which accompanies one's appreciation of their blessings of the moment, tempered by the Sad, which birthmothers know from the ever present vacancy. First and always was this sadness. In spite of it, and most likely resulting from it, was also the ever present happiness the next two daughters and I have always shared. I doubt that I ever could have felt such deep happiness, without knowing such deep sadness. Sad/Happy = ‘Sappy’.
In considering this, I would venture to offer that, 99.9% of birthmothers subsequently lead a ‘sappy life. ’ And you know what? That's a good thing.
Sappy Life was first published by Sue Baumgardner on site at: BirthMotherOfAdopted.blogspot.com This is a community of birthmothers and adoption interested persons. We share, commiserate, mourn, minister, rejoice and heal together.