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1.10.2011

A Day To Remember

Tio met his natural mother today for the first time in about 7 years. He was nervous for the past week about it, not eating much and quiet. Today he was especially worried about his appearance, thinking that might be important to her. Of course, it wasn't but it made him feel better. Because they'd been estranged under bad circumstances when he was small this was a subdued reunion but very emotional. He was also reuniting with a half sister, Liz, who also fell out of his life at the same time. As close as I am to him there was nothing I could do to make this easier. It was like sending him out to school for the first time or letting go of the bike and hoping he wouldn't fall off. I wanted him to take this bike ride I just didn't want him to get hurt.

The problem in that is we don't, and can't, control everything in our loved ones lives. We take them to the edge of the nest and say " jump, my child" with no guarantee they'll fly. This was one of those times. As we pulled up to McDonald's he shook my hand and said "thank you". That adult gesture said so much. He'd been waiting for this moment for years, longing for it, and didn't think it would come for a long time yet. The possibility of getting hurt again was worth the risk. He knew he was flying solo. But he needed to see his mother and sister and know what had happened to them and if they were real, not some distant memory he'd dreamt up to answer for the hole that had been left inside him so many years ago.

They were real alright and very genuine. We had nothing to worry about. After introductions with her, her husband, and Liz we all sat together for a couple of hours and Marcia was gracious, comfortably intimate, and genuinely ecstatic to be eyeball to eyeball with her son. She asked questions, reminisced light heartedly about their life together in the past, and promised the future was a new land that would include them all. Liz was a mirror image of him. Seriously, a photo of them side by side you could Photoshop the faces and exchange them and be hard pressed to notice. She is as warm hearted and kind as he is, just a year older than him but already a lot taller. She seemed comfortable with herself and was obviously happy to see him again.

He was pretty quiet through most of the visit, unusual for him, and it reminded me of the caution he used to exhibit when he was really small. He learned to stand by climbing a chair leg and then climbing back down like that was enough for one day. He'd try letting go another time. His eyes were wide the whole time, taking it all in, enjoying the warmth from these two women that was meant just for him.

We parted with promises of future contacts, hockey games, and visits. We drove off and Tio said "She seems real." and remarked on how well he thought it went. I told him I thought it did, too. He has been fairly quiet about it the rest of the day. His appetite is back and he was in a good mood. It's going to take some time for him to really work through what just happened and how it will effect the rest of his life both present and future.

It will take me some time to sift it over to understand as I expect it will for both Marcia and Liz. I believe this is the beginning of something good for all of them and the rest of our family, too. I am glad that I could help make it happen and look forward to what happens next.