Saturday, July 7, 2007

Please Make Me Shut Up Please

Cliff’s Edge patio with the writer daughter of writer daughter of Hollywood legend whose mother has written revealing purgative memoirs which have, while I for some reason defended them, caused pain and family crumble. One of my first published essays caused a rift that still hasn’t really healed in my own family. And every word was true and it was a wonderful piece and one I am proud to have written, but one I would write differently, Rashomon-like, now.
I have already mailed letters to my kids at camp where I will be driving them on Tuesday. My mother used make sure a letter met my arrival and there were letters which made me laugh every day but Sunday. I’d send sweet and funny notes home, every one of which she has saved and is now moldering in my garage, waiting for me to take on the correspondence of my youth.

Himself and I met via a lonely howl and a letter that made me laugh. This is the longest we have been separated and while I bet it’s using a lot of power, I keep the laptop logged on pretty much all the time, waiting for "You’ve Got Mail". Yes, I am an AOL cretin. Fuck you all with your g-mail accounts which don’t play media files and your MACs which crash and can’t play Lauchcast Radio and make the Budget website look like it was designed in a sheltered workshop.

Himself and I are communicating via e-mail as we are far apart and these are trying times.
I have in the past few days scrawled "quiet" in my notebook again and again, Bart Simpson at the chalk board, admonishing myself to shut the fuck up. The truth is beautiful but the truth causes so much pain. Himself’s interest in things Irish has long been fueled by him knowing that his birth mother was an Irish native. His adoptive parents were good Irish Americans but to my knowledge had no attachment to, nor curiosity about the Emerald Isle. The "it" of the Irishness is transparent and many years have been spent in painstaking research, here and in Dublin town hall, tracing his heritage back many generations and actually visiting family farmland in Galway.

Intensive snooping around revealed that a second cousin was a Dublin mover and shaker. I asked Himself if I might contact her on his behalf and he assented and forwarded me all of his genealogical research. I sent her a carefully written e-mail and attached his family research and itinerary for this trip.

My husband is studying Irish language at Ghleann Cholm Chille on the rugged craggy coast of Donegal, a gorgeous spot where he lives spartanly, but as an introvert and craver of quiet and new to spoken Irish, the pressure to interact so much and drink in this odd sounding language must be daunting. Every minute of it is a tribute to the birth mother he has longed to know.
I received an e-mail from Dublin confirming that I had indeed contacted Himself’s 2nd cousin. The cousin had contacted the birth mother after receiving my e-mail. After giving the matter some thought, the birth mother decided she wished no contact with John and requested that the rest of the large family have none either. In fear the letter from the birth mother might precede it, I forwarded off this note to be read in Donegal.

I wrote in truth because I wanted to give my beloved the mother he so yearned to know. He just wouldn’t listen to me telling him that knowing your birth parents can be overrated. I wanted to be a hero to my husband and make him love me more but instead I have brought grief and shame.

There is a silver lining and that will be given equal time in my next installment here but for now, I didn’t light shabbat candles for myself last night and felt undeserving of them. I let myself be alone and lonely and prayed my husband return from a month of trial and tragedy and magic to a better place and a better wife.
Namaste, and shabbat shalom, really and deservedly

1 comment:

Cari said...

Actually this is for John:

As an adoptee, I understand the holes in life that are created by not knowing the actual people who brought us into life. I don't know how devastated I would feel if Sheri chose not to meet me when I contacted the agency I was adopted through.

I am so, so, so sorry your birth mother has decided to keep the door closed to you at this time. I say "at this time", because she may change her mind in the future. I'm sure it was a difficult decision for her to put you up for adoption in the first place. She probably agonised her whole pregnancy, and yet for who knows how many years afterwards. If she makes the decision to meet you, I'm sure it will take time for her to process such an emotional event. You may have to let go of the dream for now, but later on, you may be surprised. Remember, though, it has NOTHING to do with who you are, your character or accomplishments. It's her loss, as she will not know her grandsons or her daughter-in-law. And in those people you have something much more precious than you know...and bear in mind, my birth grandmother was Dell...
nuff said.