A journey that once had begun, had gotten swept
under the table. The story had included exciting
beginnings and abrupt endings. It could have been
a nice, safe trip along smooth railroad tracks in
a predictable direction. Instead it had been quite
The way it all began was discussed, along with
where it had become derailed. It seemed suddenly
urgent to get the passengers united to head into
the future, reconnecting ties that had been torn
Seemingly impossible reasons, years ago, to ever
be healed, were forgotten and forgiven.
Ice cream was delicious at Graeter’s in Upper
Arlington, Ohio last night. The ice cream place
is a franchise started in Bexley, Ohio, in 1870.
The relationship had started in 1980, between four
close friends, two couples who were into natural
foods, a Lancaster co-op and a business together.
From friendship, sharing stories, then traveling
a long and winding path that took both couples in
From the traditional beginning, which had led
into separated, fractured lives, arose a child.
It was an unplanned and unexpected event. It
would leave a lasting, hurtful impact on all,
from 1985 until 2014.
The strange story would include heartbreak and
some moments of crying. The redemption, found on
3/21/14, would heal most of the wounds.
Who would have thought the woman with the ‘white
picket fence’ background would have held such a
wild story behind her outwardly quiet demeanor?
The serendipity was the ties that brought someone
from a far distance, of St. Louis, Missouri, back
to Ohio. The trip originally had nothing to do
with the woman nor her golden child.
A letter, sent out like a beacon, had been mailed
over cyber-space. Previously sent, hand written
letters, over the years, had been met with
A coincidental trip to a gravesite in Cincinnati,
was fortuitous for the people to be reconnected.
Death had been over a few years ago, it was in
the memory of that loved one, the journey had
been made back to Ohio.
Tears of happiness flowed. Sweet memories of a
happier time embraced the four people sitting
across from each other.
Stories of the past, including similar family
histories of international immigration; one
generation ago for the father and two generations
for the mother. Unknowingly, both parties had
heritage from Germany. This shared lineage filled
the minds of the people with wonder. Over twenty
or more years ago, they had not asked each other
Other kindred moments, included a love of music,
one for an accordion, another for a clarinet.
Two hands that reached out, were held, showed
dryness of skin, smallness in size and arthritic
joints. Family physical traits passed down.
Personality traits, such as independent streaks,
with some admission on both parties, of being
rather self-centered between child and father
Faded, tarnished memories of the Lancaster days
were renewed and explained. They lost their
rusty feel and became polished, smoothed over.
Time truly heals all wounds.
The ties are now beginning and reaching out.
They are beautifully becoming braided into a
circular wreath where the child now knows of
another family. Intertwining, growing and
letting go of the hurt and regret.
The family was a gift well received.
The failed attempts to have connections had been
shared with the child, over the years. The way it
disappointed her, had recently come to light.
The other family is filled with aunts, uncles and
cousins who long to know the estranged member.
I indulged in my favorite choice of butter pecan
ice cream, covered with Graeter’s ‘homemade’ recipe
sauce of butterscotch, real whipped cream and a
cherry on top.
The symbolism of a cherry on top was the real,
relieved feelings, bubbling to my soul’s surface.
My family member had a simple scoop of butter
toffee chip, while the father ate chocolate chip.
The fourth person had an ice cream cone with a
cup of freshly brewed coffee.
He was the observer, the in-law, who would be the
recorder of the tale to regale the Missouri folks
back home. He had captured all parties in photos,
sent via telephone, as soon as taken.
The observer was warm and welcoming and through
his part as the ‘new’ uncle, he introduced one
of the first cousins into our conversation.
A girl named Brianna, age 12, who will be part
of my child’s life forever.
One of many new connections…
The wise, well humored observer asked if this
would be included in the title of my next post
on my blog: Serendipity.
I was not sure, at that moment, if I would indulge
in another post. Sharing this may be too much.
I mentioned that I had written a “Carry On” post,
earlier in the week. After much reflection last
night, I chose to share this story here.
Albeit in a bare bones, no details’ way.
Pieces of the puzzle fell into place.
The ‘once upon a time’ heavy weight was removed,
thrown out the window, for good.
By myself, I drove up the road on 315, a curving
tree-darkened route that led to my adopted home
I had fled from another small town, almost 28
The last remnants of the weight, the ‘chips on my
shoulder’ were lifted.
Its breadth and depth, unable to fully explain
to others who had known me.
All I know this was no longer needed to be held
on to. The baggage had no necessary purpose or
reason to be kept anymore.
There still is a chance for this ‘white picket
fence’ woman with the ‘solid core’ and deep roots,
to have her happy ending. Her child could now
proceed with new ties that bind.
Not the way she had visualized from her childhood,
but still a fantastic way to close the book.