I never knew the truth until today. I had often wondered, been slightly confused, and even bemused by my family. Maybe I didn’t want to know or maybe I was afraid of the truth. Truth can be so clear, so defined, with sharp angular edges jutting out like shards of glass. I like soft, subtle shading with ill-defined edges possibly aided by a glass of red wine, jazz on the radio and a shimmering sunset.
I didn’t look like anyone in my family – blue eyed, blonde hair, fair skinned, left-handed. How could I belong to this group of brown-eyed, brown-haired, right-handed people?
My sisters fed the beast by telling me frequently I had been left on the doorstep and was taken in by our family. They told me this story mostly so I would cry and they could comfort me, wiping away my tears while they said, “But it’s not true. We love you and you are one of us.” But I was never sure.
When I took high school biology and we studied genetics, I became quite absorbed with recessive genes and how I ended up with blue eyes. I discovered that blue-eyed grandparents had fed the trait and I breathed a little easier. Maybe I really did belong. Maybe I was just special.For years, I was consoled by the proof of high school genetics, but then one day a letter arrived asking if I was interested in meeting my birth mother. What in the heck did that mean? I shuddered and realized I had been duped by my family. I was adopted and the truth had been revealed by a thin little letter arriving in my mailbox on a cloudy day in May.
So, who did I belong to? Who were my people? I wasn’t sure I wanted to meet this stranger claiming to be my mother. I wasn’t sure I could withstand the shards of glass that might cut my fragile life in two - the life I had so carefully built out of blocks of sand. Somehow I had suspected a stiff wind or raging storm might blow my house down and it finally had. The shaking earth and shifting sands pulled me to a distant shore where genetics proved to be stronger than that which I had known as truth before I knew the truth.
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