If You Were Here

If you were here, Mom, I don’t know what you would think of me. People have been telling me to find you for 12 years now, ever since I turned 18. Everyone is curious, and I am too, but I am more scared. I keep thinking of great excuses to not look for you. I heard a couple years ago that the Catholic Childrens’ Home Services agency shut down, so I thought maybe they’d lost my file.

And I always think, maybe I’ll wait until next year, maybe I’ll do something impressive and you’ll think “Wow, my daughter really has her act together.”

But maybe I don’t have room for disappointments, no more room for more crazy family members.

However, all of my selfish considerations don’t take you into account. Maybe you want to find me, the child that abruptly ended your childhood. Maybe my grandparents want to know me.

As for Chris and his family, they’ve always wanted to find a certain Claude Miller of St. Louis, a black American soldier, a quartermaster stationed outside of Stuttgart. But Chris’ dad isn’t interested. Let sleeping dogs lie. I don’t want to bring up the ghosts of the past.

My own grandfather I’ve heard was a fair, blue-eyed German army doctor. How funny it is to think the two unknown grandfathers were on different sides in the war.

How many of us really know our parents, our grandparents anyways? One in every seven Americans don’t really have the fathers that are listed on their birth certificates. A lot of us don’t really know where we came from. But I guess it must matter, everything else in life is so uncertain, where do we stand if not on the backs of our ancestors?

One Response to “If You Were Here”
  1. I love all the pertinent facts that ground it at the end. The rhetorical questions that reach out to the reader, making them wonder about themselves in the same context.

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