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Senior Correspondent

I never met my son's mother. But I know a few things about her. We look very different. She is tall and slender whereas I am neither. She has at least 4 other children. I hope her Mother's Day brings them knocking on her door with the grandchildren.

I don't know whether or not she is still married, but her husband is not the father of our son. She was white, and he was black. Their relationship was brief during a time when she separated from her husband. Her husband was willing to take her back with their four children, but not our son. She had been raised Catholic, and her priest advised her to give up the brown baby and reconcile with her husband.

I know one more fact about my son's mother. She had been adopted. Since she agreed to give up our son, I can hopefully assume that her adoption had been a good one with loving parents. She gave him up from birth. Did she ever see him? Did she ever touch him? Was she glad she gave him up? Did she ever regret giving him up? Would she have seen things in our son as he grew up that reminded her of herself or his father? I can only imagine.

Giving up a child must be a heartrending experience that continues through the rest of one's life. Although our son once mentioned wanting to find his half-siblings, he never expressed any interest in finding her, his birth mother. She had had her chance to be his mother, and had chosen not to be.

Since I know so little about his mother, I must imagine the rest. Does she think about him on Mother's Day, or any other day of the year? Does she wonder what he looks like in middle-age? Does she ever think about what career he chose? Would she be surprised to know that he was gay? Do his half-siblings ever wonder about him? What would she have thought about the kind of mother I was? Did she ever try to find him?

I am sad that she never knew him as he grew up handsome and strong, and made his choices in the world. I am glad she can continue whatever fantasy she has woven in her mind about him. But I am the mother who is all too aware that our son's ashes have been resting heavily in a container on my closet shelf for over a decade.

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