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Saturday, April 21, 2012

After almost 11 years of marriage--I have a Mother-in-law......

Mom,Sallie.......
"Little" sister Robin... Now that it's happened and turned out well,I can talk about it. I won't go into all the gory details,but to make a long story short,my husband's parents divorced when he was about 2. He grew up thinking that his dad's other wife was his mother. He found out the truth at about 17 or 18 years old. The story he was told was that she "didn't want him". You can imagine how that hit him and played with his mind/psyche. He had a rough time for a while and even when we met he still had the idea in his head that every woman he got close to would "leave him". Lucky for him I'm stubborn. And I loved him--he still can make that difficult sometimes. About 5 years ago I started digging into my family's family tree on ancestry.com. I was helping a neice find information on someone in our tree that she had been stumped with for a while. If any of my readers has ever worked in genealogy,you know what I mean. Sometimes the information trail just hits a dead end. So every now and then,I would put in what little info I had on my husband's side of the family. It was slow going for a while and neither one of us was sure we had the right people. Now,Fast-Forward to last year. His mom calls out of the blue. It was a shock to say the least and he wasn't ready to deal with her or the past,so he didn't talk to her. I wrote the number down knowing that sooner or later he would be curious,but I lost it. Fast-Forward again to a few months ago,I was talking with a good girlfriend and she brought it up that maybe she was calling because she was sick or dying and was trying to make amends. I seriously started looking for her then. I tried several different phone number finder/people finder sites. Let me tell you,you never really know how many people out there have the same name till you go looking for one of them. It's worse than that needle in a haystack. We didn't know exactly what last name to look for.We just had her maiden name,a little info on her family,and where she was born. Fast-Forward again to a few weeks ago,he finally told me that he wanted me to find his mom for him and to find out if he had any brothers or sisters-and see if she would "come clean" and say why she left him. I was so excited that he was ready to deal with these issues. I really got busy. I'm not sure what made me think of this now,but I thought about the obituaries. Now for someone reasearching family history old newspaper archives and online data collections can be your best friend. I can't tell you how many hours I spent scrolling through old South Carolina newspapers looking for any familiar names. That can be frustrating too. I happened upon an obit from when one of her father's sister-in-laws had died. It of course listed the info about her but it also listed the surviving relatives. I went through each name and tried the online search resources again. I found one of the lady's granddaughters and I found an address and phone number. I'm not big on telephone calls so first I checked to see if she had a FACEBOOK account. Doesn't everyone? Bingo-she did. I "stalked" her down and sent her a text asking if I had the right family and if she had ever heard of this "missing" family member. It was the right family,but she hadn't heard of the relative.She said she would get back to me after she had talked to her dad. OK. I was excited. I got a little impatient waiting so I went to another obit from her mother's side of the family. This time I couldn't find a facebook account that matched any of the names. I tried the name of an aunt in the search engines again and found one and I knew it was the right one because once I pulled her up,it listed a few other people and had her late husband's name too. PAY DIRT!!! I was sooo excited. I got my girlfriend to call and see if she knew where our "missing" relative was. And she did. OH,MAN! I can't tell you-I was on cloud 9! (The reason I had my friend call was because we were trying to keep the peace in the house and we weren't sure how my husband's dad would re-act to the news. And if I called and either noone was at home or they called back I didn't want a South Carolina phone number showing up just yet.) I could barely contain myself,but I texted my husband at work and told him to CALL HOME! It seemed like it took forever for him to get a break. I told him to sit down. He thought the house was on fire or something. I told him that I had found his mother and that he had 3 sisters and that there was more to the story of why she left than he was told. Talk about dead silence. I think I took his breath away. Later when he got home that night,I told him more about what I found out. I could tell he was more open to maybe talking to her. The next morning,I had to get him out of the house so I could talk to her. I made him a list and sent him to the grocery store. Once he was out of the driveway,I took a deep breath and dialed her number. Did I tell you how much I HATE to talk on the phone? Long story short,they had been looking for him too. He thought I was on the phone with my girlfriend when he came back in because I was laughing so much. His mom is such fun to talk to-she's like a kid! I got him to sit down in the recliner and asked if he wanted to talk to her yet. I wasn't sure if he was ready. I think he was still in shock that I had found her and was actually talking to her on the phone. He nodded,so I handed him the phone. It was so amazing to watch and listen to him talking to her. They have talked for hours every day since. With 40+ years to catch up on,I guess so. He has talked to his mom and one sister. We are already looking at schedules and counting up how much vacation time he has and trying to see when we can make a trip to South Carolina. I'm thinking around Labor Day,which also happens to be our 11th wedding anniversary,but we'll have to see. But we will definately take a vacation to see them relatively soon. So after almost 11 years of marriage,I have a mother-in-law and sisters-in-law,and the husband has found out that he is married to a "Nancy Drew/Sherlock Holmes" ABSOLUTE GENIUS of a wife. Life-it's an amazing adventure!

1 comments:

Wendy L. Callahan said...

You already know how I feel about this, but it bears repeating: GREAT JOB! THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!

You are a total Nancy Drew/Sherlock Holmes! :D