Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Memories

Most days I wonder if I have any memories. I mean, the day to day stuff like where I left my keys or did I turn off the coffee maker doesn't really bother me. Well, it bothers me when I'm locked out of the house because I can't find my keys, and we had sense enough to buy a coffee maker that turns itself off.

It's childhood memories, even adult memories from 15 years ago that I just don't seem to have.

If I "remember" an event from my life, say my First Communion, all I can remember is what I have seen in pictures. There's the one of me and my 2 best friends, all decked out in our dresses, standing in front of the church. It was a windy day, because all of our veils are blowing. But an actual memory? Being in the church, did we have a party afterward, were my grandparents there..... No clue.

I often have to ask Hilary to fill in the blanks for me, even from periods of time before she was in my life! Either I told her the story years ago or she's heard it from my Mom, but SHE can remember. So why can't I?

I really started thinking about this yesterday after I posted the birth father entry. I knew that he had died, but I couldn't remember when. Was it last year? 3 years ago? For that matter, I couldn't remember what year I found Iris. How long has it been? I could remember that we lived in our old house and we were in the basement when the SW called. Why keep a detail like that, but nothing about the actual conversation?

To compensate for this "problem" I am a pack-rat of letters, cards and emails. I have a pseudo-scrapbook of all my adoption papers, and have kept all the letters from Iris, even meaningless "hey how's it going" emails. Maybe to prove to myself that she is real.

So I pulled out the book yesterday to look this stuff up. I found Iris in 2000. Ken died March 31 2001. She had the chance to tell him that I had found her, and presumably to reassure him that I wasn't about to show up on his door step handing out cigars to celebrate his new found daughter.

I also stumbled across another tidbit of information that I had completey forgotten. Ken had 4 children, all in their late teens/early twenties when I was born. Again, I have never really focused much on them, not in the same way that I think about Madelaine being my 1/2 sister. Weird isn't it? But the interesting tidbit was that one of his daughter's, Carole, is a lesbian. Iris shared this in a letter after I came out to her. She pondered on the possible genetic connection of being gay.

So I've known for almost 7 years that I have a 1/2 sister named Carole, who is a lesbian, 20 some odd years older then I am, who grew up in the same city that I did.

How do you forget something like that?
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