When I was in elementary school, I had to bring a copy of my birth certificate to school, so the teacher had me leave it on her desk. I can't recall the grade, but it was at Creswell, so it was 4th grade or earlier. My birth certificate is sitting on her desk when a little girl reads it. And says loudly,"Father..unknown? What does THAT mean?". I remember saying (loudly)." My father is Ronnie Wallace, I know who my father is!!!" And then the teacher taking me outside the room because I was crying.
My original birth certificate does read under the "father" section: "unknown". I hated that. Because my Mom always told me who my father was. She told me he saw me until I was about two.. when he got married. I knew he had another little girl a couple years after me. And later heard another child. I recall Mom's friends mentioning how I had eyes like Ronnie's etc,... So WHY "unknown"? Well, this was before the days of DNA. You couldn't just put someone's name on the birth certificate. but more importantly, she did not want his name there. She didn't want him to have a claim. I love her and know she was protecting her newborn girl. New reprints of my birth certificate are just blank under the father section.
Growing up, Mom always sent my school picture to a sweet lady named Ms Dew. I remember seeing Ms Dew... having cookies at her house. Ms Dew was Ronnie Wallace's best friend's mom. And when he came to town to visit, she would secretly show him my pictures. And my mom would see pictures of Ronnie's other kids. This wasn't weird to me. It was how it was.
So, I grew up with a name... Ronnie Wallace. And a location... Kentucky. I resisted looking for him many years. With the advancements of the Internet and search engines... the thought was there. I just couldn't decide if I would or should or could find him. My husband actually encouraged me to look. It took me years to finally decide to look.
September 2010, I begin the online search. Joined a couple of people search sites. Called a few Ronnie Wallaces... emailed some.. did searches on Classmates, obituaries, etc,..
I finally asked Mom to help. In the past, she had discouraged me looking. But, she began giving me information. But couldn't remember his middle name... thought his birthday was in October... I was asking a woman with three strokes to recall 41 years before...lol. But she tried.
In early October 2010, I was alone one night, and digging through the Internet looking for my father. And it hit me... one thing a lot of obituaries listed is where someone was born. So I entered,"Ronnie Wallace born in Shreveport" And it came up. A picture of a man just as my mom always described. I knew it was him before I even read a word of the obituary. I was alone, my husband in Baton Rouge. And as I read... his mother lives in Bossier City... and is alive? He'd passed the month before on September 5th. Damn.
Why bring it up now? I had a blog in September... I'm an "open book", right? Well... I had to wrap my mind around this. And it occurred to me... with Father's Day coming up... that it was a bit different for me this year. I found and lost him within moments. Mom passed just 3 months later. And I discovered I had family that accepted me , including another brother and a sister, an aunt that sends me packages of love (cookies, brownies) and a grandma still spry at the age of 98 (at the time.. she's had a birthday since)!
I've had time to think about the "timing" of everything happening. I think God was "hooking me up" with more family. He knew he was calling Mom home soon.
God is great. And my father is not unknown.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
My husband was good to my Mom. Really good to my Mom. If I didn't pick her up, he'd insist I take her a bowl of spaghetti or gumbo... whatever great thing he'd made for supper. There were never leftovers, just Mom's serving. And she was grateful.