Today is my birthday! 9/27 has always been a special day for me. My parents made it that way. Every birthday and holiday were celebrated, but your birthday was your very own special day. On my 5th birthday, Daddy brought home a pony in the back of his pickup truck. This was typical behavior for him. My Dad knew everyone in our small Town. He heard about someone with a pony that needed a new home, and he had a horse crazy daughter. Perfect fit.
I named my pony Daisy. Daisy was my pride and joy and we were inseparable. Daisy listened to all of my secrets and we had long discussions about nothing (I did all of the talking, she would eat grass and swish her tail). Daisy was a Shetland Pony. They are prone to fits of temper and extreme stubborn-ness but not with me. Daisy was mean to just about everyone except me and my sister, Deena. Daisy would run away if you tried to catch her for a ride. All you had to do was sweet talk her with treats or carrots. She bit my Dad on the hand and she kicked him more than once. She got me a few times too but I still loved her. She really did not like my Aunt’s dog, Precious. Shetlands are know for their attitudes! Anyway, she was a special gift among many birthdays and special gifts along the way. When I got older and bigger, I moved up to riding larger horses, Daisy became my sister’s pony. She and Deena got along for a while then Deena quickly outgrew her too. Dee got a new, larger Pony (Roy) and Daisy was lonely.
Daisy went to live with a new family in Vermont. The day they came to pick her up, a van pulling a horse trailer pulled into our driveway. The trailer already had 2 horses in it. I wondered where Daisy was going to ride. They opened the van doors and in she went! My special girl was on her next journey to be another little girl’s special surprise. Still to this day, my favorite flower is the daisy and I collect daisy jewelry.
This photo shows my sister, Deena on Daisy and me on my Morgan horse, Slippers. Some of my happiest childhood memories are horse and sister related. We had some incredible adventures and learned many life lessons through our years at the barn. Riding in the ring, shoveling out stalls and running the horses across the field to tie up at the fence while we went across the street to 7-11 for M&M’s. (Just one example).
Today, I am 51 years old. As you may already know, this year has been unlike any other in my life.
With the help of Ancestry.com and my Pro Geneologist Michael (who built my family tree backward using my DNA), my birth family found me in June of this year. One of my cousins on Ancestry connected me with my Aunt Martha on my biological Mother’s side of the family, and presto, the connection was made.
I found out that my biological Mother (Linda), passed away in 2010. Her three siblings, Martha, Victor and Jeanne are all still here and they all live within a few minutes and hours of me. My Aunt Jeanne is exactly 10 years older than me. Her birthday is also today, 9/27! She and I will always share this birthday. What a wonderful surprise! Happy Birthday Jeanne!
I have been thinking about this coincidence since I found out about my family. Aunt Jeanne would have been 10 years old when I was born. Her sister was in Washington, DC at the time. No one in the family knew about me except Linda’s older siblings, Martha and Victor. Aunt Jeanne did not find out about me until many years later. When we finally got to meet this Summer, it was a gift like no other. No one can plan for this. It’s a rare surprise that you don’t see coming and a roller coaster ride of emotions and information coming at you that you did not expect. It’s been thrilling at times and sad at others. Sad to find out that you will never get to meet your biological Mother. My half sister, Kelly and my Aunts and Uncle are my only window into who she was. We have all connected and we talk and chat regularly. Spending time on the phone and Facebook, making up for lost time and getting to know each other. We visit when we can. It’s hard- life keeps getting in the way, but you find the time.
On Friday, Jeanne and her husband will come to see us for a visit. I cannot wait to hear more stories of her life and childhood and find out more my amazing, newly discovered Aunt and her family. A very Happy Birthday, indeed.