This past weekend I took the time to have a full-blown conversation with my mother since I hadn’t really gotten a chance to during the week. Her birthday was this past Thursday but unfortunately, besides a quick 2-minute phone call to wish her “Happy Birthday,” we hadn’t had a chance to catch up.
I began sharing with her stories that I’d had with the Stone side of my family about how over the years Grandma Yancey has gone off on everyone at the dinner table at some point. Lol, one thing about Grandma is that she will feel some kind of way about someone, allow the resentment to build, and then one day just BLOW UP (hmm, so that’s where I get it from? lol)…she nearly always choses to display her antics at the dinner table surrounded by her loved ones
and the culprit of all her animosity.
During the discussion, I didn’t hear my mother’s name pop up once. Honestly, that’s not too surprising to me because of her mild-mannered demeanor. You have to look long and hard, search high and low, to find something you genuinely do not like about her. She’s one of the kindest, most nurturing, laidback women I know. I finally asked Aunt Lynne and Uncle Ken had Grandma ever gone off on my mother. While Aunt Lynne initially said no, Uncle Ken corrected her. “Yeah, you know what? Your grandma did get Donna before.” My mouth dropped open. “Oh no! She wasn’t too harsh was she? Did my mother cry?” I asked. “Of course not! Your mother was fine. Do you know how bad that would have gotten if your mother would’ve cried?!” said Uncle Ken.
No one could remember what bone Grandma had to pick with my mother all those years ago, so tonight I asked her about it. While Mom can’t remember, at one point she mentioned that Grandma probably shared her feelings about my parent’s then living situation.
“Despite what we did in our own household, whenever we stayed with them I was respectful of your Grandmother’s wishes and your father and I slept separately,” she shared.
“Your own household…? You and Dad lived together before you were married?!” I asked incredulously. I was shocked. In my entire life I’ve heard my mother utter a handful of curse words, she has half of the Bible memorized and she hates raising her voice.
“Yes, we did.” She stated matter-of-factly.
“For how long?”
“About a year.”
“A year!? How long were you together before that?”
“A year. We dated for a year then lived together for a year.”
“So how long were you married before I came along?”
You guys, my mom got married when she was already pregnant with me. I. Was/Am. Shocked.
“I told no one though, even your dad. He found out I was pregnant on our honeymoon. I was acting up, all those hormones were affecting me so he knew something was up,” she shared.
“Did anyone ever wind up speculating about the timing?” I asked.
“No, no one did…except your grandmother,” she said between laughs. “But I answered her honestly. I was a grown woman. I had no reason to lie to her.”
From there I discovered that my parents were married for a full seven years (yeah, I never really knew how long they were married) and a few other details about the beginning of my life that I previously had no knowledge of. Now that I’m reflecting on it, I can’t believe that it took me 25 years to learn of my own conception story. Am I alone in this? Do you know anything about yours?
I know that for myself it makes me look at my mother a little differently. I feel a little bit closer to her knowing that she was roughly around my age when she first met my father and began that chapter of her life. Sometimes I feel like she’s so out of touch of reality, with all of her Bible-quoting/thumping and her mild-mannered approach to life, people and conflict. The truth is that she’s been exactly where I am, and much further, and that there’s a lot more of my life that I can share with her and now know that she will completely understand and be able to relate to me. She has literally already been there and done that. There’s a lot of security in that for me.