First, let me say that Lydia has granted me full disclosure to share my part of the story. As I've mentioned in previous posts, Lydia is a longtime friend of mine dating back to our West Virginia childhood. Sometime after we first met those many moons ago, Lydia admitted to us that she was adopted. Lydia adored her adoptive parents George and Barbara Harris (as did we), and they and her brothers would and will always be her beloved family in every sense of the word. This has always remained status quo and for as long as I have known Lydia and also know of Lydia's powerful love for her family, this will most assuredly never change. That said, an unexpected twist did indeed occur in her family story a couple of months ago.
Lydia's husband John researched and found Lydia's biological mother. What an emotional avalanche. Lydia had lost her wonderful adoptive father George just a few years ago and suddenly learns the identity of her real Mom after all this time. Even more astoundingly, said Bio-Mom was living here in Kansas City! On the initial night of my corporate conference, my phone was blowing up with questions of whether I knew this woman. I did not, and needless to say, was gobsmacked to learn as to why Lydia was asking.
So, plans were made and Lydia would be meeting her real mother at my workplace, the Elms Hotel and Spa. Lydia and I kept in touch as the plans firmed up. All of the laughter and revelry I wrote about Lyd and John's weekend here certainly happened but all of it was tinged with a bit of understandable anxiety and anticipation on our girl's part. When the hour was drawing nigh on that Sunday afternoon, we returned to the hotel. We sat in high-back lobby chairs with constant activity whizzing by us while our internal clocks just seemed to tick by so slowly. The wait was darn near agonizing for her, I'd say. So many questions she had....
The moment arrived and truly, it was indescribable. It happened in typical surreal fashion...typical for both Lydia and the Elms in that it was surreal...in the middle of the lobby surrounded by Triumph Car Club members running by here and there. I saw Bio-Mom first and the recognition of her resemblance to Lydia was instantaneous. The embrace between reunited mother and daughter happened, there in the center of that lobby and for those of us who knew, time seemed to stop in a brief but crystalline moment.
Hasty introductions were made and I sequestered mother and daughter in the upstairs dining room where they could talk in peace. John, Keith and I stayed with Bio-Mom's kids....Lyd's new half brother and sister. We all watched the conversation from afar, the two of them in silhouette, only gaining snippets by their actions. At one point, mother and daughter laughed simultaneously and their mannerisms were so similar, it took my breath away. Mother and daughter caught up for hours.
The next morning, Keith and I indeed met with Lydia over those smoked salmon bagels I mentioned in the other post. Lyd regaled us with amazing information she had learned and we listened with relish. It was particularly gratifying to see that worried face now softened by the glow of newfound peace and wonder. It was truly an honor to share this moment with Lydia and what a gift John bestowed upon her...the generosity just blows me away and also reassures me she is in wonderful hands.
Congratulations, my sweet sister. What an amazing new chapter in that always-entertaining book that is your life...