It is 99 years today (17 March) since my adopted half-brother Len was born. He was wonderful to me when I was little and being nearly 21 years my senior I guess he was more like an uncle than a brother. In later years we unfortunately grew apart and this was partly caused by our folks splitting up when I was in my early 20s just after my first marriage. It was a pity, but mum seemed to have given the impression that I was partly behind the break-up and although I eventually managed to explain it all to dad, I don't think Len ever knew the truth so I was not the popular little sister of previous years. It was because of this that I saw little of his two daughters and their two families in later years. Nevertheless, I think of him with fondness today and have emailed his two daughters telling them I am thinking of their dad today.
It is a strange thing being adopted. You have all these people in your life, all your life, and they are family. I was told when I was 12 that I'd been adopted as a very young baby but my only thought at that time was that two people had wanted me so badly and it was wonderful to be needed that much. I don't think I really ever wondered what my roots were for many years as I was loved and well cared for and spent a very happy childhood with two great parents.
Years after my dad (1971) and mum (1985) had passed on I decided to find out who my real family was, mainly for medical information that might assist my own children and their families. I hadn't realised the work that it would entail but with my daughter's help and that of some wonderful people in government departments, all was finally revealed. My natural father by that time was dead and having been told my birth mother had also died young I didn't expect to find her. A huge surprise when I found she actually was alive and living not far from me and my husband. I never got to meet her physically but we became good friends on the telephone and I was so sad when she died in 1996. Her first great-great-granddaughter was born on the day of her funeral. She knew a baby was on the way and seemed pleased at the thought.
Since discovering my natural family I now sometimes feel very confused as to where my loyalties lie. I can only ever think of my adopted parents as my real parents and yet I have these people related to me by blood whom I should feel more for but seem unable to feel for them the same way. I do have a new-found half-brother (that was in 2001) and he and I have become very close and he rings me with little bits and pieces about his life. He is 14 years my junior so now I am a big sister to both him and our sister (she is 20 years younger than me) which is nice. It has been wonderful to be accepted by all members of both natural families I have met. Even though I have the documents to prove who I am nobody disbelieved me and it wasn't really necessary to show those papers as proof.
I guess thinking about my late brother has me thinking of all the great people I've known who have left this mortal coil in the past 10 years. There are so many of them and some were far too young to die. They all live on in varying degrees while I and others remember them and perhaps one day I also will live on in the minds of those who knew me and hopefully that memory will be with love. I have never done anything momentous in my life but have tried to be there when needed and hope I have been of some use to family and friends over the years. I intend to be around for a while yet but nobody knows what is written in the stars so....I can just hope I survive as there are still things I want to do and learn.