Well, I chose but the universe had a plan of its own.
I don’t know the woman who gave me life, I don’t know the things she would have said and taught me if she were still here. This lack of knowing plagues me.
As the planets of this life aligned while in my mother’s womb
My birth-mother died on the 11 of June, 1995. A year and just under a month after my birth. I am thankful for this time though any memory of it has slipped from my mind.
I wish, more than anything, that the sight, the feeling and the sounds of the time spent in my mother’s care could be unlocked.
Not knowing your biological parents is not unusual but my story may offer insight to what others with the same start to life may be thinking and feeling.
Other than photographs and stories told to me about her joyful soul and love for nature and travelling, I know little else about who my mother was and what she intended for her life. She spent some of her childhood years in Matatiele, a small town on the outskirts of Lesotho. She met my father on the final day of her holiday to Cape Town. According to my father, they spent months texting and, in my father’s words, ‘acting as lovers do’. Until one day she packed her things, hopped on a bus back to Cape Town and him, not knowing how little time they would have together.
23-year-old Edna Lovita Werner died in 1995 of ‘unnatural causes’ according to her death certificate. Almost, immediately, I was adopted from my father and into the care of two loving-souls whom I regard as my guardians.
My father, who I’ve seen a handful of times over the last 19 years, always seemed to be on the run. Always on the defence about his absence. I could never understand; perhaps I was too young.
A part of me accepted his absence. I had my guardian who accepted me as his own and understood that ‘father’ is a verb. A supportive and proactive role.
But the paternal bond is strong. And just as I longed for the woman who gave me life, I longed for my father.
But I felt abandoned.
My own father had pushed me aside. I often questioned where he’d been and why he’d take months, even years, to reach out to me. I wondered if I reminded him of her and if this was too painful.
But I’d brush these thoughts and feelings aside hoping that one day I’d see my father again.
I came to realise the possible guilt he may have faced at letting me go and allowing my adoption. And I am certain, the pain and heart-ache caused by my mother’s death. Coming home to the wailing heart of your one-year-old daughter standing on the opposite side of the bathroom door from where your girlfriend lay.
Foaming at the mouth.
A terrible sight to carry in your heart.
Was she trying to hold on? Or was it her intent to leave?
A terrible question to carry in your mind.
I came to accept my Father's decision
I trust the decision he made in letting me go and allowing my adoption into a life he may not have been able to provide. This was not said in our recent reconnection, but it is the only notion that brings me any kind of peace. I realise that it seemed my father was left desolate after both his daughter and love was taken in a matter of months.
It was a heart-break no man should face. A heart-break that breaks my heart.
After more than five years of having no contact, I continue to strengthen a bond between myself and my father.
As for a bond with my mom? I’ve recently gone back to a small town outside of Lesotho where she spent some of her childhood. I met and bonded with her family in hopes of finding her spirit and a sense of who she was. Although I haven’t found her, I have found myself.
I am now an adult and I continue to reach within myself to find the child who lost her mother.
To understand who this 1-year-old girl was and what she may have felt and seen bearing sole witness to her mother’s death.
Her spirit has transcended. She exists beyond the physical realm and I believe I will find her. In this life or the next.
And although the universe shifted my choice, it was to place my care into the arms of another set of parents who love me unconditionally and provide a life of comfort and opportunity. A life I may not have known.
Are you experience the loss of someone close to you or know someone who is? Share your story with us. Email us.
For more on wellness: