The call to Ian was without a doubt the hardest phone call she had ever made.
After the initial pleasantries were over Sandy launched into her story. She blurted it out quickly. How she had left her family home to go into the big City – London. And how she had met with a group of people who quickly became her ‘friends’. It was more difficult to explain her being involved in free love and then eventually becoming pregnant.
It became easier to tell about meeting the priest and the subsequent stay in the “unmarried mothers home” followed by the adoption. As Ian tried to interrupt with questions, she ignored him and went on with her story. Culminating with the meeting on Saturday that followed on receiving the initial email.
Having told him all that, she sat back in her chair absolutely emotionally wrung out. She felt exhausted, as if she had run a mile. And now it was time to answer her son’s questions.
At first there was no voice at the other end of the line. “Are you still there darling” Sandy asked. ‘Yes Mother” came the deep voice of her son, that was now faintly tinged with a Canadian accent. He then asked the expected questions. How long ago?; Who was the father?; Had she never tried to find out what happened to the child?; Did his father know about this before they married; What was his father’s reaction?
She answered these questions as well as she could but in a very timid voice quite unlike her usual voice. And then Val, Ian’s wife came on the phone wanting to know whether the woman had children; was she married; what was Sandy going to do now.
And Sandy realised there were even more questions that Barbara had either left unanswered or skillfully evaded.
The phone call ended with love from both sides and promises to be in touch again soon. Sandy said that she would call again once she’d had another meeting with Barbara.
The first hurdle over. Now to meet with her ex. She had arranged to meet him at their local pub. She prepared carefully, taking care over her dress and her makeup. Greg had always been conscious of the way she looked.
As soon as she entered the saloon bar she saw him sitting at a table by the window with an open newspaper at his side and beer and a white wine in front of him. He had seen her drive up and so was up on his feet as she entered the room. The smile on his face told her he was happy to see her and the welcome in his eyes told her she would always love this man even though she couldn’t live with him.
They embraced as friends and sat down. After the usual small talk “How are you?” What have you been doing?” etc he then asked her why she had wanted to see him. So she filled him in with all the happenings of the previous week, starting with the initial email, through to the meeting the day before. She told him of her delight at meeting the young woman and how she was convinced that it really was her daughter. But she also told him her concerns about the unanswered questions. Where did she live, how and with whom?
Of course, his first question was had she told Ian? She told him of the phone call and the questions raised by both Ian and his wife, Val and their promises to be in touch again soon.
Greg, her ex, decided that they needed more time than that for just a pre-lunch drink and suggested lunch. She readily accepted and he went off to tell his partner where he was and what he was doing. The split between Sandy and Greg had been amicable and when he became involved with Julia she was naturally introduced to Sandy. So there would be no problem with his having lunch with Sandy.
They ordered from the bar menu so that they could continue sitting at their table and talking over the situation. Greg felt it important that before meeting Barbara again Sandy should get answers to the questions she had. They talked round and round this subject until it was eventually agreed that Sandy send an email to Barbara telling her how happy she was to have met her and also asking the questions. Once she had these answers Sandy would meet Barbara again, with Cathy if she were agreeable, and get to know her a little more. Sandy felt very relieved that another person was helping her make decisions.
They then talked of more mundane things, work, their grandsons in Vancouver and how well they were doing, when, if ever, Ian would return to England, when Sandy planned to visit Canada again, etc etc.
So it was with a much lighter heart that Sandy left the pub on that sunny winter afternoon. She drove home with a smile on her face, singing along with the radio much to the amusement of the young men in the car next to her at the lights.
Tomorrow, she thought, was another day….
“Trust your instincts, and make judgments on what
your heart tells you.
The heart will not betray you.”
― David Gemmell,