Believe me, every man has his secret sorrows, which the world knows not; and oftimes we call a man cold when he is only sad.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Again, I’m joining in with a group of writers for Five Minute Friday where we’re given a prompt (this week it’s secret) and write for five minutes about it. This is a bit of a tough one for me. Also, I did a light edit at the end of five minutes. It’s against the rules but I can’t not edit. Trust me. You wouldn’t want me to not edit.
I receive an email that begins: Hello from your family in Saskatchewan.
I was born a secret, no one in my family of origin knew about me, save for the woman who gave birth to me, for many years. It’s been a long, and often painful, journey.
It’s not easy being a secret. All kinds of things get discombobulated in your mind with respect to self-worth and your place in the world. I’ve worked hard for many years to sort it all out but I still have seasons of grief—I’m walking through one now.
Even when I first connected with my maternal family I remained a secret to some. I silently accepted being told that they “wouldn’t be able to handle knowing about me”.
Now, the secret is out in the open and I have cousins, who knew nothing about the tangled story until a few years ago, but who have welcomed me.
For years, when I’ve talked about my heart connection to Saskatchewan people have asked if I have family there. I’ve been reminded of all the loss as I responded that, no, I have no family there anymore. (I wrote about all of that mess in Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude.)
These four words—your family in Saskatchewan—changes that.
I am blessed and grateful, a secret no more, and I have family in Saskatchewan.