Saturday, July 19

A Surprise Party & Another Cartoon

Some people just don't understand, do they?

I'm starting to see more and more references to blogging, in magazines, newspapers, cartoons and on TV. Are you?


As you know, we were away last weekend. There was an important purpose to the trip; my birth mother's family was giving her a surprise (early) birthday party. She turned 85 yesterday. I must say that they planned it very well - she was indeed surprised and pleased. Everyone they invited showed up, plus a few more. The guests numbered about 48-50, and included some people she had not seen in 30 years. They were my birth father's nephews; the sons of two of his brothers.

We were asked to come early, so that we could all be in place and shout "Happy Birthday" when she got there. Mr. kenju, our younger daughter and I entered the room knowing only two of the people there. Martha's adopted daughter pointed out who some of the people were, and told us whom to talk to in order to learn more about the family. One of the nephews had done the family geneaology, so he was the "go to" guy. It was strained at first, but little by little we began to talk, and were soon exchanging contact information. I was interested to learn that they live in NC, most of them on the coast, and are involved in the building industry. To think that I have visited their towns, perhaps passing right by them, and not knowing we were related, is eerie, as you might imagine. The genealogist has already emailed me and sent photos of his family, and I hope to soon meet them, and the families of the other nephews.

I also met two women cousins on my birth mother's side, and one of them has offered to send me some photos she found in a trunk located in the family home. They are of my birth mother's family and my birth father. I really hope she will send the photos, as I would love to see them. I have spent a lot of time going over in my mind the people and our conversations that day. It is all a blur, really, and too much to process in a short time. One funny thing happened: a tall, thin woman walked up to mr. kenju before Martha got there and asked him who he was (meaning his reason for being at the party). He answered her and said my wife is Martha's daughter. She looked at him pointedly, and fairly shouted....."But, Martha doesn't have a daughter."
He had asked me prior to the party what he should say if someone asked him that, and I told him to tell the truth. I thought that everyone there would know about me, but apparently there were at least two who didn't.

So after she answered him, he called out to me and as I approached them, he said "Judy, tell this woman who you are." I said my name and then...."and Martha is my mother." She looked at me with great big eyes, said....."But, but...."; turned on her heel and walked away without saying anything else!
Later in the day, I saw her speaking with Martha in a fairly animated manner, and I can only imagine that conversation. I'd like to have heard.......LOL. Martha is very honest now about having had me, but that woman was one who just hadn't heard the news. Poor thing. You could see the bewilderment on her face.
You know how my cat Storm loves to lie on or near my shoes? I discovered when we returned home, that while we were gone, she had been sleeping on my bedroom shoes in our closet floor.
They were mashed flat! Maybe I should have left a bathrobe on the floor for her.


Chancy said...

The birthday party for your birth mother sounds bitter sweet.

And there is always someone who seems determined to put their foot into their mouth like the woman you described.

whimsical brainpan said...

I love the cartoon! And yes I see blogging brought up everywhere these days.

A belated Happy Birthday to your birth Mother! I have two cousins who are adopted and it amazes me what idiots people can be about it.

I think that is so cute that Storm missed you that much!

Granny Annie said...

I started my first blog in 2003 and when I mentioned it, hardly a soul knew what I was talking about. Yes, times have sure changed.

I typed "birth mother" in your blog search and followed the stories back to the Just Ask Judy link in 2005. I had not read that amazing tale of your life. It is no wonder that you have such a strong nature.

One of my nieces is adopted and she has always said she has no interest in finding her birth parents. I've always wondered if she telling the truth or just saying what her parents wanted to hear.

Her older brother, also adopted, found most of his biological family members and the jury is still out on whether it helped him or hurt him. (7 siblings and abusive alcoholic father and alcoholic mother.)

I wish I could have been a little bird and seen you and Mr. Kenju and your daughter mingling with the birth mother's birthday party crowd.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That cartoon is so true. Blogging used to be regarded as something for a closeted minority, now all manner of people have them.

Michele sent me.

sage said...

Sounds like an interesting party--not only for you! But I'm glad you could be there.

Beverly said...

Someone else posted that strip too the other day. I love Pearls Before Swine, but my paper doesn't carry it.

I find that lady's response to Mr. Kenju interesting. I'm glad that some of the relatives have sent you some photos. I hope you get more.

Kate said...

Interesting, kenju! I don't know your background and will have to read about it. I love your cartoons.

Dianne said...

thanks for sharing so much of yourself - I know that at times it feels risky. I'm glad to know more about you.

Bewilderment doesn't suit that woman!

I always leave stuff for Siren and Mia to snuggle with otherwise I too will come home to flat shoes and far worse :)
But I love that they need to be near me.

MorahMommy said...

I loved that cartoon. It seems like everybody is blogging these days. It's wonderful to meet people from all around the world! People you would have never met otherwise!

I'm glad you could be at the party.

Have a great weekend!

Nancy said...


My niece once had a gigantic cat named George.George was a "bad one" as the Irish say, and used to lie on the open steps and swat at the heads of any people who passed in the hall below. You didn't mess with him because he was mean and weighed about 30 pounds.

One Thanksgiving my niece had the family at her house for dinner and told everyone to put their coats on the bed. I had an old "Fake fur" coat that was the exact color of George and when it was time to go home I could not get the coat away from him.

He was all snuggled in and hissed and scratched at anyone who tried to take my coat away from him. He LOVED that coat and because it was on it's last legs anyway, we warmed up the car and my niece gave me a sweater and we gave George the coat.

George treasured that coat for the next five years until he died ,
(Some say of meanness).

So, you may have to turn your bedroom shoes over to Storm. You really have no choice!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

That had to be quite an interesting event, Judy. Especially the woman who had not known that you were Martha's daughter. I can surely understand how it all was rather strained at first, but how nice that it warmed up and that you now have some realtives that you didn't know before as friends, or at least on the way to being friends...Had you ever seen pictures of your Birth Father before? What an emotional weekend!

I love that Storm has your shoes to give her comfort....It is really sweet. She must have missed you a lot! A bet she was very very happy to have you home, my dear.

srp said...

What a lovely birthday idea for her.....

And the blogging? I ran across a new magazine called Artful Blogging and a related one called Life Images from the same company..... really nice photos and journaling.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I love this cartoon, I'm going to link over here today!

JeanMac said...

So happy you met the family.

bobbie said...

Love the cartoon. Yes, I hear more and more references to blogging.

So glad you enjoyed your mother's party. I can't imagine why, in this day and age, anyone would be so bewildered about an unexpected son or daughter showing up. It really isn't all that uncommon any more.

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I think it makes all of us cyber-friends feel closer to one another when we learn more about one another. I've talked about my children and grandchildren. Maybe I should tell a bit more about my parents.

sonia a.m. said...

I am glad, Judy, that you enjoyed your mother's party. And thank you for sharing your story with us.

Thanks for your nice comment on my blog! Have a nice weekend!

Sara said...

Loved the cartoon! Lots more references to blogging around now.

Sounds like an interesting time at the party...

Poor Storm missed you very much...

BTW, Michele sent me to say it's been a while since I've seen you!

Star said...

At least you gave them something to talk about. I'm glad you are getting to meet your birth family.

Beverly said...

I follow you on your blog. I did not know about your birth mother and will thanks to granny annie I will read on.

I love the cartoon! it is one of my favorite strips. People where I work think I am nuts for blogging. One said why read stuff about people you do not know. They do not know how you develop friends thru blogging.I say it is just like reading articles in magazines, except you both get to know each other, possibly more than people you work with all the time.

joared said...

Yes, that cartoon is funny. I, too, encountered nothing but negative perceptions of blogging, if people even knew what it was, when I started less than a couple of years ago. I have seen some gradual attitude changes.

Interesting experience at your reunion. I'm sure you have a view of your birth family that's quite unique. Expect you'll find the future information and how the others choose to respond to you enlightening, too.

VitaminSea said...

I have been seeing more references to blogging in the media these days, yep! At least we no longer have to explain what a blog is - to most people! However, I would say the majority of the people I know don't have a clue as to what it's all about. "A list bloggers?" They've never heard of 'em.

I was shaking my head about the woman who felt the need to be loud and righteous. There's always one in every gathering!
But that is great that you've been able to meet your birth mother and family!

Poor ol' Storm. Looks like he missed you, too! :)

Rue said...

Hi Judy :)

I'm glad to hear that the party didn't go too badly. Well, except for that woman.... yikes! I hope they send you the pics that they promised :)


Jean said...

Some people just don't have the social graces to know when to keep their mouth shut. Does it take real style to smile and say, 'It's nice you could be here,' and move on.

At the wedding of our niece, a woman asked my brother who he was. He said, "I'm the bride's mother's brother."

"Oh, no," she said firmly, "that is not true." His reply was that was what family always told him. He did not bother to explain that they were children of the same father and he was the son of the second wife and that Sister was living in the household when he was born, since the woman was one of those....

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

What a story this is, Judy. I look forward to hearing more of this story unfold.

Shephard said...

It's a shame you didn't dress in a big feathered hat and wear a purple orchid. Oh how they'd have talked...

~S :)