Thursday, October 1, 2009

Finding My Roots (the Finale!)

So, I don't know if you are all bored to tears about hearing about this story, but I really need to get some of these details down while I can.
So, you may remember in the story of my dad's adoption that his birth mom was married at the time she gave birth, but she wasn't married to my dad's biological father. Does that all make sense? This story is so clear in my mind and these people are so real to me now that I find myself feeling them and telling their story so easily that I forget not everyone is following as closely as I am. So, for convenience sake, I'm going to provide some code names to make the story more easy to follow.

Biological Mom: Marie
Biological Dad: Alex
Man Married to Biological Mom: Lyle

There, clear as mud? Okay, so on with the story...
Lyle is a 20 something year old truck driver living in Colorado. His route takes him to destinations in Memphis, Tennessee, and Dallas, Texas. However, his loading port is in Arkansas.
One day while Lyle is waiting to get his truck filled in Arkansas, he decides to get a limemade. He ventures over to the local pharmacy which has a soda fountain in the back. Working at the soda fountain is the most beautiful blonde he's ever seen (No, it's not me, I'm not even born yet! It's Marie). He buys his limemade and chats with the woman for a while.
From that point on, every time he's in town, he stops in and chats and pretty soon he begins to date Marie. At some point in their dating, Lyle encounters Alex who makes it quite clear to Lyle that he is infringing on his territory by dating Marie. Lyle is not deterred by this and continues to date Marie anyway.
After they date seriously for quite some time, Lyle decides to ask Marie to marry him. She agrees. He drives back to Colorado to get the ring and places it on her finger making the engagement official. They never get around to setting a date, but after dating for several months, something changes. On one trip to down to Arkansas, Marie gives Lyle back his ring and says she can't marry him. She offers no other explanation. Lyle is heartbroken. He is in love, he wants to be with Marie forever.
Luckily for Lyle, his route is changed right after this happens and he doesn't have to go to Arkansas anymore. He still thinks of Marie and what could have been, but he hears nothing more until about a year later when he gets a letter in the mail.
Marie writes that she's made a mistake. She loves Lyle. She still wants to marry him. Would it be possible? Lyle is thrilled! Of course he wants to be with Marie. His only condition is that they get married right away. Marie agrees. He drives his truck down, picks her up and brings her back to Colorado and within a short time (a couple of weeks?) they are married.
Married life is great for the young, happy couple. Lyle is still gone often because that's what truckers do, but he knows he gets to come home to his gorgeous wife. Then, only two months after they tie the knot Lyle gets the strangest impression that Marie is pregnant. Hmmmm... He knows that's not a nice thing to accuse a woman of. Besides, he's probably wrong. Maries eats hardly anything at all and since they've been married she's only had the very slightest of a bump show. Perhaps if there's something amiss he should give her the opportunity to talk to him when she's ready. So, Lyle says nothing.
Flash forward to a month later. The newlyweds have just enjoyed a great dinner and Marie heads to the bedroom to change for bed. All of a sudden she's back out in the kitchen, crying.

"What's wrong?" asks Lyle.

"My water has broke. We have to go to the hospital. I'm in labor." states Marie.

Without throwing a fit or passing out from shock, Lyle helps his new wife to the hosptial. As soon as they arrive she tells the staff that she is not keeping the baby. The staff ask if she wants to see or hold the baby.

"I don't want to see it. I don't want to even look at it," she says.

By the next morning, my dad makes his entrance into the world. Small, but completely healthy. He is whisked away never to be seen or touched by the woman who carried her secret for so many torturous months, never revealing to the father, to her parents, to even her own husband what she probably couldn't face herself.
As for the rest of the story. That's for me and my family to know. Who is this man Lyle? This man who had this wild and difficult situation thrust upon him as a new husband. This man who stayed with his wife for a week after the baby's birth to care for her. This man who forgave her and never brought it up again. This man who readily spoke with me about intimate details that mean more to me than he'll ever know. It has been life altering. I can't imagine someone who could be as quick to forgive as he was. Someone who is so sweet and kind.
Here he is, nearing 80 years of life and I walk into the picture and he not only provides a story, he provides friendship. Yes, he too wants to meet me and my dad. I can hardly wait to meet this man and give him a huge hug. He's a sweetheart.
This whole experience....It's been hard for me to put into words. Sure, I can tell the story without any problem, but the emotions that come with it are so deep. I don't know if I've ever had feelings like this before. I feel so blessed. I feel so loved. I feel so peaceful.
Oh and one last, tiny detail. Lyle said that I solved a huge problem for him. You see, he has these wedding photos of him and Marie and he didn't know what would become of them when he died. There are no children that would need them, so he figured they'd probably just be thrown away. Instead, he's sending them to me. Yes, I will have a wedding photo of my very own grandma. Amazing. Simply amazing. Call it a coincidence if you like that he's held onto that picture for 50 years and through two other marriages. I call it divine intervention. I can hardly wait. So peaceful? Yes, but still so excited!!!


steve said...

I feel like this a "Days of our Lives" episode. You can't have this the finale!! (I mean not that I watch those shows. . . ) We need to know happens when you meet Lyle!! It's a great story and well told. What a fun conclusion for your family.

Scott & Tami said...

wow, that's amazing!!!

Lara said...

I have loved reading your story. This man sounds truly amazing, and it is a little sad that he never did have other children with Marie. Can't wait to hear more about your meeting with him.

Tina said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. I read it this morning and can't stop thinking about it. It's a real bummer that you'll never really be able to answer some of your questions- but meeting and talking with these people who know about your family's past is very exciting.

Ruth Petersen said...

Thanks for sharing. What a great blessing to get to the bottom of more of your family history. The Lord loves you and knows the yearning of your heart.

Lacey said...

WOW! I have chills!! That is totally awesome Audrey! I'm so happy for you! You should write a screenplay! It totally could be a lifetime movie!
How exciting that you get to meet him! Does he live in Colorado? How crazy if he lived up the street from your grandparents!!!

Chanda said...

I have really enjoyed reading this story. I got choked up reading them. I can't even imagine how emotional you probably get. I have an uncle out there some where that my Dad would like to find. No luck yet, but maybe some day we will get to learn about him and maybe meet him. Thanks for sharing!

Jessica Martiele said...

I, for one, am relieved this story is over...because every time I read any part of it - like, right now! - I totally start to cry. I'm having to wipe away tears as I type. Divine intervention indeed, and what a blessing, Audrey.

JenW said...

this is so amazing. what a great finale:) i am so glad that you have had these opportunities! truly amazing!

citymama1 said...

That's amazing. You should write a book.

Melinda said...

I have been so excited to read about this. I know how strange it is to not know the whole story about parents and grandparents etc. I am sooo happy for you.

The Astons said...

I'm so glad you shared that story. What a neat thing for you and your dad. I'm really happy for you.

JLJ said...

The story is intriguing, like from a book or a movie. But it really happened! To you! Thanks for sharing it.