Thursday, March 03, 2011

Sometimes I think about you...

Sometimes I think about you
Wonder if you're out there somewhere thinking 'bout me
And would you even recognize
The woman that your little girl has grown up to be?*

One month ago today I got an email from a woman I remember as a child. She's a grandmother now. Her father was my second (and last and best, I always point out) husband. I saw her a few times when we first married, but then we moved away, then she moved away with her mother, and our paths never crossed again.

'Cause I look in the mirror and all I see
Are your brown eyes looking back at me
They're the only thing you ever gave to me at all*

Her brother lived with us when he was in high school and for a short time after that. He moved out as soon as he was old enough to make it on his own, and then, a few years later, their father and I divorced. I only had one phone call from her brother after that.

Oh, I hear the weather's nice in California
There's sunny skies as far as I can see
If you ever come back home to Carolina
I wonder what you'd say to me*

I stayed in touch with the rest of my husband's family until he remarried, then backed out of the picture so his new wife wouldn't have to share her warm and wonderful in-laws with me. In doing so, I let people slip away from me whom I loved and respected and thought I would know always.

I think about how it ain't fair
That you weren't there to braid my hair like mothers do
You weren't around to cheer me on
Help me dress for my high school prom like mothers do*

My former husband passed away in 2003. His son died three years later. The only things that connected me to his family after that were the memories my daughters and I shared of the time we spent with them and, also, the family name. I still have that.

Did you think I didn't need you here
To hold my hand, to dry my tears
Did you even miss me through the years at all?*

The little girl I remember so well, the grown-up woman who found my daughter's website, a link to my blog, and then the courage to send a message to a virtual stranger, has started something special. It began with correspondence between her, me, and our daughters. We wondered about her aunt on her father's side, so we reached out on Facebook and found her aunt, her first cousin, and the husbands and kids that belong to each of them. We wondered about her brother's child, also lost to the family through divorce and all grown up now.  We found her first in a blog and then on Facebook. That child and her mother, who was divorced from the family like I was, have since "friended" us all, and those of us who haven't met them yet are hoping to get to know them.

Oh, I hear the weather's nice in California

There's sunny skies as far as I can see
If you ever come back home to Carolina
I wonder what you'd say to me*

We are individual threads of a tapestry called family, unraveled by time and distance, by death and divorce. As adult women now, we are reweaving ourselves into a different sort of family. We are building trust, asking questions, sharing knowledge, fitting the stories of our lives together so that they all make more sense.

Forgiveness is such a simple word
But it's so hard to do when you've been hurt*

I'm writing about this not only because the experience has been so meaningful to me, but because I want to share with you some words that have been repeated several times, from several sources, as we've made these reconnections: "I'm so happy to hear from you," and, "I  never thought anyone cared."

Oh, I hear the weather's nice in Callifornia
And just in case you're wondering about me
From now on I won't be in Carolina
Your little girl is off, your little girl is off
Your little girl is off to Tennessee*

The happy news is that we all cared.  The sad part is that nobody did anything about it.

Sometimes I think about you
Wonder if you're out there somewhere thinking 'bout me*

Unlike the singer of the lyrics quoted above, none of the women in this newly reunited family group is wondering quite so much anymore. I'm so grateful that one little girl grew up and reached out.

*From the song "I Wonder" by Kellie Pickler.


  1. :) I like this! You're writings are just wonderful,

  2. What a beautiful story. I'm so happy for you!

  3. Laura, thanks. You inspired it, so I'm glad you liked it.

    Holly, thank you. We're having so much fun putting "puzzle pieces" together.

  4. This made me happy! It is never to late to reach out.

  5. appears the dog is living up to my forecast.

  6. What a great post! I'm glad you found these long-lost members of your family.

  7. Sandy, you're right. That's what this experience has taught me.

    Patsy, you don't know the half of it. I never know from one minute to the next whether to smooch him or strangle him.

    Janet, thanks! It's all the sweeter because I never thought it would happen.

  8. Despite all the negative things that are said about Facebook and other social networks, you cannot deny the powerful effect they have had on our lives. Over and over again I hear beautiful stories like yours and think how wonderful that Facebook makes this possible.

  9. Annette, finding you on Facebook was another one of those "beautiful stories." My daughter practically had to twist my arm to get me to sign up on FB, but I'm really glad she did.

  10. I've found long lost classmates and friends on Facebook but there are people who hate it. I don't put private things on there and have my passwords lined up so they don't match, I'm not afraid of it. I loved your story, things like this just make me cry. I'm happy for you. It's times like these that we need to connect with everyone we loved.

  11. Nan16, I rarely post on FB. If I have anything worth saying, I'd rather put it on my blog. I do love the private message feature, and I especially enjoy the posts and pics of the younger members of my family.

    I agree with you that it's a good time to connect with those we love. With all the hatefulness we see on the news every day, I'm sure all of us would be happy to have a little more love in our lives.

  12. I'm so glad you have all re-connected with each other...I'll bet it's all great fun. A lot of healing would take place as well, as a result of this.

  13. Marion, I hadn't thought about this experience being healing, but it makes sense that it would be.


Your comments might be the very best thing about blogging. I love it when you care enough to share your thoughts here, so go ahead and say what's on your mind.