Grandma Hallie, my last living grandparent, passed away early Easter morning at the age of 94. She was my dad’s biological mother and was someone I grew up never knowing that I’d meet in this life. When I was 20 years old, a family friend conducted research on my dad’s behalf. With only a few pieces of uncertain information, and in the face of sealed court records, my grandma was located only a few miles from the South St. Louis community in which my dad was raised. Mind you, this occurred long before internet technologies or 23andMe DNA registries existed. In the late 80s, finding my grandma was nothing short of a miracle.
Hallie was the answer to a lifetime of prayers for my dad who was in his 40s when he was finally reunified with his birth mother. It was a remarkable time for our family when we met our grandma in person, I still remember the moment I saw her face for the first time. Their resemblance was undeniable – no DNA test was ever needed. My dad and his mom didn’t share as many years together as they spent apart, but they didn’t miss that milestone by much thanks to her long life.
As all things related to adoption usually are, our relationship with Grandma Hallie was complicated. We saw her occasionally over the years at family events but for the most part, her relationship was directly with my dad not necessarily with immediate family members on either side. When I think of Grandma Hallie I always marvel at the miracle she was in our lives, regardless of how the specifics played out since reunification. She was a healing balm to my dad’s soul and for that, I’ll always be grateful.
I won’t be present at her funeral tomorrow to say my goodbyes, so I’ll say it here. Rest In Peace, Grandma. Your presence made a difference in our family’s story and we are grateful for you. You were lost, then you were found. You were always loved.