My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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“I think you’ve been looking for me.”

What a difference a few days can make. The reno is progressing; all of us feel the momentum. Today they removed the odd third floor walkway that hung over part of our second floor hall; it was a platform for a loft bed when that room was a teen’s bedroom, before we moved in, but it was a useless path that never made sense for us. Today, it was taken down, and the ceiling soared.

From the landing looking west, to the door of my office; the platform was above. The window above will be replaced.

From the door of my office looking east. Space and light.

Again, I feel as if I’ve moved out from under a dark cloud or emerged from an illness. Though in fact, I felt terrible today and did nothing but sit in my chair with aching bod and work on essays and read websites. Hope that helps head off whatever it is that’s trying to get in. I sent an essay to my new editor, Laura Cameron, yesterday, got it back today with helpful comments, rewrote. God I love this.

Last night, I turned on the Golden Globes, but it was so anodyne, so tedious despite Sandra Oh’s heartfelt speech about diversity, that I switched channels and ended up watching a Canadian documentary called “I think you’ve been looking for me.” And, to my surprise, I ended up weeping. A tremendously moving story, a young man telling us about his mother, in her seventies, who’d been withdrawn and depressed during much of his childhood and that of his two older siblings. She reveals her secret: as a teen, she’d been a victim of date rape, though, she says, those words did not exist in the Sixties. She’d become pregnant, and as a young Catholic girl, was sent to a home for unwed mothers, where she sat for months in isolation, eventually giving birth alone. Her baby boy was shown to her once and then she was not allowed to see him again. She went home, and the baby was given up for adoption.

She says that as each of her 3 children were born, she felt nothing. It was only when caring for them that she began to feel like a mother. She felt that the terrible pain of losing her first child was punishment for her sins.

O the sins of the church and of that repressive, woman-hating, profoundly dishonest time.

Through the magic of the internet, her son is found, and to the joy I’m sure of the filmmakers, he’s handsome, open, and kind; he had a happy childhood but is anxious to meet his birth family. The reunions, the first online Skype conversation of mother and son, their reunion at the airport – oh the strength of that hug – the eventual meeting of all members of the family, the adoptive parents, the son’s wife and kids, all the siblings meeting their half-brother for the first time – extremely moving. The power of blood, the desire to know our roots – such a deep-rooted need. The last shot – spoiler alert – the mother holding and gazing at her daughter’s firstborn baby boy, blissfully absorbed in his tiny face, all her losses put to rest, her heart at ease. I’m the luckiest person in the universe, she says.

Sometimes, television is a great, great friend.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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