The Loss of a Mother is Tragic

My Paternal Grandmother, Dolores, As A Baby

We don’t know who this woman was because my grandmother didn’t note it on the back of the photo.  What we do know is that her mother died when my grandmother was only 3 months old, so the woman in this photo is not her mother but is likely some relation.

Her parents marriage appears to have been a fairy tale worthy romance.  They both came from old line families that started in Connecticut and migrated to Long Island New York.

It feels to me that the family’s fortunes changed with the death of the oldest daughter (run over by a teenage driver at age 3) and then the mother.  The Great Depression didn’t help things.

There is a difference between a motherless daughter whose mother died and a child growing up without their natural mother due to adoption.  With death, we know the mother will never come back to us and she lives on as a kind of myth or legend – often larger than life would have had her otherwise.

With adoption, there is the knowledge that the natural mother is “out there” somewhere, even when the child doesn’t know her name or where she is.  There is always that possibility that a reunion with her will take place and that causes a degree of yearning.

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