What Bob Said
So. The 60/40 Party. It was a celebration for my Brother’s 60th Birthday and his Son’s 40th Birthday. My Brother’s Dad, Bob…who was also my Mother’s Husband…expressed an interest in meeting me and talking with me. He had something to share.
Bob and Charlotte had known each other before Bob was shipped off to Korea in 1954. At the time Charlotte fell pregnant, Bob was in the Army. Besides this, I had absolutely, positively, no Western European ethnicity in my DNA. No German, no Polish, no French; it neither disturbed me, nor surprised me, Bob’s assertion that I wasn’t his. I was already aware of that when I discovered him and his family. The surname, Rogalewski, is kind of a giveaway.
But Bob was there at my beginning. And he was pretty much last living soul who was.
And there we were. I could see by the look on Bob’s face, that I was Charlotte’s Daughter. He had no doubt. We were introduced, and he was almost speechless. He hugged me, with tears in his eyes. And the first words out of his mouth? “She loved you. Charlotte loved you. You look are her spitting image.”
What child doesn’t want to hear these words?
We talked, on and off, for quite a while. About how Charlotte’s much older Sisters convinced her that placing me for adoption was the better way to go; about how Bob would have raised me as his own, had Charlotte decided differently…but, in those days, with him in the Army, that probably wasn’t all that realistic. About Renee, one of the Sisters, going with Charlotte to Grandma Cassidy’s in Chicago. About…about… Bob was sharp as a tack and the more we talked, the more he remembered. My personality was different from Charlotte’s, but my life has been very different from hers. Nuture. Nature. Same-same, but different. We took breaks, every so often, because the emotions I stirred within Bob seemed to become too much. He would look at me, shake his head, and turn away. He would mutter something about how much like her I was. And move away from me, at the same time, looking for me, patting the chair next to him, wanting me to sit with him.
He still loved her, my Mother, so very, very much.
Bob shared much about their life together; they had had a hard life. Yet, here we were. He gave me what I had wanted to know. What every child wants to know.
My Mother loved me. She did what was best for me. It’s all good.