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Before It's Too Late

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Posted: 11/21/2009
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

My mother passed away on December 20, 2007. She was very elderly and her passing was expected, even welcomed. One thing I never expected was to receive a letter from her attorney at the reading of her will.

"Marsha, I love you. If you are reading this letter, it means my time has come and you find yourself wound tightly in grief. I want you to know that you have been greatest joy of my life--I have so loved watching you grow and mature into the beautiful woman you are today. I thank you for being such a wonderful daughter and friend these many years. You will miss our afternoon chats and warm hugs, but I hope above all you will remember that you had a mother who loved you deeply and prayed for you always.

I have pondered long and hard on the decisions I have made throughout my life, and there is one that has pained me since your childhood that I feel you should know. Marsha, you are not an only child. When your father was killed you were only five years old. It was a very dark time in my life, and during that time I conceived a baby boy from an affair. I was ashamed of my pregnancy and went to Austin to stay with friends and deliver the baby. Perhaps you remember how Sharon used to bake cookies with you in the afternoons while I napped. One thing you will not remember is that I carried the baby to term and he was delivered by cesarean on a quiet afternoon July 3, 1948. The doctor arranged the adoption to a professor by the last name of Martin. I held your brother for just a few minutes before they took him away, and I have never spoken of him since. This will no doubt come as a great surprise to you, but I hope you will be able, in time, to forgive me. I have born this heartbreak silently for many years, but you are a far braver woman than I have ever been. Should you decide to search him out, you have my blessing. Please tell him that he had a mother who loved him enough to let him go."

When I read this letter my reaction was shock. I remember living in Austin as a child, but I truly have no recollection of my mother's pregnancy--not even a hospital stay or an illness of any kind. She never once alluded to having another child or loving any man besides my father. I could not imagine my mother having an affair, let alone having a child out of wedlock. After pondering the letter for a few days, I decided to take action and fulfill my mother's wishes that I find my brother. I contacted Search Quest America and my case was solved by Julie Jones in only 2 weeks.

I was hopeful that I might get the opportunity to meet my brother and become friends. However, Michael passed away in November of 2005. He is survived by his ex-wife and 2 estranged children, all living in Colorado today. They tell me that he simply collapsed on the bathroom floor one morning, and the cause of death was a fatty liver. Sadly, I will not have the opportunity to meet my brother in person in this life. I will never be able to take him in my arms and tell him about the remarkable woman who gave us life. But after all is said and done, I am grateful to know the truth. I only wish I had learned it sooner so that I might have met Michael.

To all those individuals who are in my shoes and deciding whether or not to search for their lost loved ones, I urge you to take advantage of the opportunity right now, while you can. Once the opportunity vanishes, it is impossible to retrieve. Don't wait another moment or it may be too late!

(Written by Mica Burton on Marshas behalf.)

Client ID# 238742
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