Finding ones own inner strength is a road we must all travel. From the day we are born we are destined to search, grow and become who or what we care to become. There is no secret or mystery in this quest. It is within us all…but yet there are times when it seems it is a journey with missteps and uncertainty. It is then we must decide to fall or carry on.
I heard from my birthmother, Erszebet, six months ago. This was the second time I heard her voice. It was a call I could not answer as I saw her name flash across the screen. I rode up the elevator all alone. Holding the phone in my hand, paralyzed with uncertainty and perhaps a little fear. Knowing I was really alone in this, with the emotions it stirs, feeling I wasn’t prepared to be shot down again, I did not answer. The coldness of our last talk a few years ago was one I didn’t care to repeat. And there, starring down at my hand, I was faced with a decision I now do not regret. As I walked to my hotel room I felt the raw pain that I have carried since our first conversation. One sided, threaded with cold words, void of care. I keep it close, buried but so easily resurfaced. My mind hears her words of regret for the choice she had made. To end the life within her was a choice and she didn’t take it. I hang onto that choice she made and feel she cared a little, even though she spared no loss of words when she let me know she could and maybe should have done differently.
Her voice was just as I remembered when I found the strength to play the message she left. I guess there was a small chance that she had changed her mind and now wanted to talk. So I listened and the pain resurfaced, stronger than my will to not let it hurt. She was angry and I would take the brunt of it. She had received a call from a very old contact from Hungary that wanted to talk to her. This person had questions that only Erszebet could answer and it made her angry..but not because this person called her. It was because she thought I had put this person up to it.
I thought about calling her back and reassure her that I had nothing to do with it. Remind her that her secrets of many years ago affect others too, not just me. Plead with her to trust in me, that I will keep the secrets she keeps hidden from everyone. To just release what she has kept to herself. Share what I and someone else would like to know. That it would not only help us, but free her as well, for I am sure the fear of her secrets being found out trap her in the past. Has she locked up her heart as well as her past? I wish I could release it all. But I did not call her. It was a road I was not ready to travel. She is the only one that has the answers and her fears or denials have trapped her there.
I have questioned my choice of not answering the call or calling her back several times since then. I see her name in my list of contacts. Erszebet is real and easy for me to reach. One touch of a button and I could hear her voice. But she will not talk or free herself enough to share what I need to know. She is a shadow of my past. She lies in my thoughts when I am alone. I hope someday she may feel safe and ready to talk. To release herself from her secrets.
An angel was with me the day I was born and many days that followed. Though I was alone I had some inner strength. Was it my own will to flourish? Was it a trait passed on from past generations of people I am from? This will has been a blessing, like so many other I have been granted. I continue to rejoice in all that I have been given..my dear mother and father, my husband and children..I strive to be a better me and live for them all.
I think my birthmother would like what I have become if she only let herself. Will I ever know her? Is there a part of her in me hidden and wanting to be recognized. She says she feels nothing, doesn’t want to know me. And I try to accept, but there are more times than not, that it breaks my heart.
I am not bound by my past but it does shape me. I continue to be grateful for all the angels I have met in my life while searching for me. Someday I will be whole as I walk the path I have chosen. I have experienced the feeling of being reborn when I looked in the eyes of two strangers in Budapest who I was a part of and felt the love of finding them. My love for them and their children continues to grow. We all know the happiness our union has brought to our lives. The distance and language barriers are a bump in our paths of growing closer. We have all learned and experienced that secrets, once revealed, can be sorted, accepted and give us freedom. We three are free to love each other. I hope someday Erszebet can know that freedom as well.