Date: February 09, 2023 07:31PM
My VERY deeply loved by me, paternal, grandparents had two offspring, both of them sons.
I don't know most of the specifics, but my biological father is the son who was NOT married to my mother when I was conceived.
It was fairly early WWII back then and Americans (males most especially) were suddenly coming and going to distant places in ways confusing to understand, certainly now--but also very much back then as well.
When my Mom realized she was pregnant, she enlisted the help of her OB-GYN, who came up with the idea that she would give birth to me "six weeks late." As her biological due date approached, major drama began to play out in my extended family, as family members would play cards EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, throughout the entire night, until dawn the next day appeared, waiting (ostensibly) for her to feel the first contractions. They did this for SIX WEEKS!!!
I grew up hearing the seemingly endless stories from each of my family members who were (unwittingly, for the most part) part of the charade, and how contrary a human being I was obviously going to be since "I" had chosen to stay inside my Mom for six additional weeks past her ostensible "due date"--"keeping" all of THEM up all night EVERY night, waiting for her to feel her first birth pains, after which I would be born at Good Samaritan Hospital.
I grew up hearing endless stories from my relatives [*] for the decades of my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood--about how they ALL had stayed up ALL NIGHT LONG, EVERY SINGLE NIGHT!, playing cards--waiting for contrary me to make my living and breathing debut--which, evidently to them, I just stubbornly refused to do, and instead "kept them" playing cards all night long, EVERY night.
[*] I am referring to my maternal relatives, NOT my paternal grandparents, who never, ever, not even a single time, blamed me for being "born six weeks late."
Ultimately this charade cost me quite a bit, in many different ways.
Eventually I mostly overcame the bad parts (like being promised college all my growing up, but realizing--in my mid-teens--that if I held them to this promise, without question my parents would have divorced).
When my Mom unexpectedly died the same night my aunt died of pancreatic cancer, as my Mom was being wheeled on the gurney into the hospital so she could die under a doctor's supervision which was intensely important at that moment (otherwise my father would have been charged in her death), she looked over to me and said: "Thank you for saving my marriage."
Those are the most important six words anyone has ever said to me in all of my life.
She KNEW. She knew what I had done (by "making the decision," as a 17-year-old, to NOT go to any of the colleges I had been admitted to; instead, I literally married "the boy next door").
If I could rewrite my biography, I would characterize my parents as adults who, as I was in my senior year of high school, could have accepted the biological facts of my existence, and matured enough emotionally for them to accept those realities--and not blame ME for putting THEM in that difficult place...a place and a situation that *I* had nothing at all to do with.
That did not happen.
In its place, my Mom said (as she was being wheeled into the hospital so she could "legally" die), "Thank you for saving my marriage."
It was all she could do, but she did it.
It was an apology, but mostly it was a request, and a plea for forgiveness for her messing up my subsequent adult life.
It was enough.
Thank you, Mom.