While I’ve been sick (and, if you’re wondering, I’m still not completely over this stupid virus) I haven’t been totally wasting my time. No sirree. Not me. I am nothing if not a multitasker. I can cough and knit at the same time. I can surf the web and lay on the couch simultaneously. I can feel sorry for myself and watch all the Tivo’d episodes of Gray’s Anatomy in one 6-hour marathon. I am a renaissance woman.
I need a plan. I am just waiting around, waiting to hear from the woman in Portland, the one I believe to be my birth mother, the one I wrote to TWO WEEKS AGO asking for information. I can’t stand it. I need to be doing something. I am not the sit-around-waiting kind of gal.
So, I evaluated my options. I could:
1)Send the letter again. Maybe she didn’t get it?
2)Send a new letter. Maybe the new words will spark something in her that my old words did not.
3)Drive down there and knock on her door. Soooo tempting, but a bad idea. I am not trying to traumatize, frighten or antagonize her. I am trying to tempt her, to entice her to want to respond. I’m trying to awaken something in her that she has probably ignored or denied for almost 50 years. I don’t think showing up on her doorstep is my best next step. Plus, what if she calls the police? I do not want to show up on an episode of Cops.
4)Call her again. This may be the right choice, but for some reason, every time I think of picking up the phone, my stomach cramps and my intestines liquefy. I’m terrified of calling her, probably because the last phone call nearly destroyed me. I may not be ready to put myself through that emotion again just yet.
5)Do something else.
I’ve decided to choose number five. I’m doing something else – something I feel comfortable with, something that I feel confident will make me feel better. When all else fails, RESEARCH.
Yes, research is my plan. Information is my friend. Throughout my life, information about my origins has been my imaginary friend. It’s been like an elusive little butterfly, flitting away from me every time I reached out for it. Now that I finally have some information about where I came from, I’m hungry – no starving – for more. It’s like I had one Utz chip, one pistachio, one sip of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I can’t stop now.
I’m making plans to spend a day (or more if need be) at the Maine State Archives. This is where information lives. Every time I think of this building, I can hear movie theme music in the background – Rocky or Star Wars. That’s how I know it’s the right plan. If epic movie soundtracks play in your head, you’re on the right track, aren’t you?
At the archives, I may be able to find more evidence to prove that the woman I’m currently stalking is indeed my birth mother. I will try to follow the timeline, starting from my birth. I’ll get a copy of her first marriage license and her second. I’ll try to find a record of the birth of any other children, including the woman I think is my sister. I’ll find birth and death records for other people in her family – MY family – and see what that tells me.
Spending the day poring over ancient records sounds like just the thing I need, but I had better bring my inhaler. Unlike information, dust is not my friend.
Birthday Wisdom from My Mom, Elsie
12 hours ago