Found and Lost

Found and Lost

Thirteen years ago tomorrow I made my first contact with my birth family. I was in my late fifties, and the reason I sought them out was to discover my health history. A few years earlier I had been diagnosed with a rare bleeding disorder, and I’d undergone many procedures to treat it. My initial hope was to find out if anyone else in the family had this disorder.

Fortunately, I found my first cousin. When he asked who I was and what I wanted, he was incredulous and said he’d get back to me. In his words, “I had a right to know.” My cousin remained true to his word, and the next day he put me in touch with my birth mother, brother, and sister. (My father, who married my birth mother when I was ten months old and she was expecting my brother, had died only thirteen months earlier. They remained married for fifty-five years.)

I had no expectations. (more…)

Wild Kingdom

Wild Kingdom

A few weeks ago I almost stepped on a small snake as it slithered across the path in my front yard. I jumped back, startled, and the snake continued on its way along the side of our house. My heart beat rapidly as our dog Beau and I ran inside to share the news and look up the type of snake online. I discovered that we had just seen a king snake, a good one to have around because it’s a predator of rattlesnakes and rodents.

This wasn’t the first time I encountered a snake near the house. Years ago, on a hot July Fourth weekend, a gopher snake sought shade between a planter and the wall near our front door. My husband and our dog Shannon had not noticed it when they went out. I was about to leave with Shannon’s brother, Duffy, when I saw the snake stretched across the doorsill. “Step over it,” my husband said. (more…)