Saturday, July 11

my half brother

Should I explain the long story here? Okay, I won't.  I did rather by accident and recently discover the actual location of the grave of my half brother. My family, you see, is more chards from a broken plate, then something frameable and showable. My half brother was the youngest from my father's first marriage, and being so young when my own parents divorced (my father's second marriage), all I knew growing up is that the baby wasn't something to mention to my father and what I'd learned about him came from the kitchens of women in Pensylvania. I'd assumed the baby had died in another state than in Michigan where I found and I saw his grave last month.

I've spoken with his mother about what happened. He had lived for eight days. The house was full of people, her sister and brother, their spouses, my half sister, neighbors. He lay in a bassinet in the front room. His parents were to have divorced except his mom was pregnant. His father was out with a another woman and not living at home. The baby had had a fever and in 1957 the doctor would tell a new mother to stop breastfeeding and to use more nutritional formula, which his mom had gone to collect from her employer (was a gift). She was only gone not a half hour, and she returned to a house full of people to find he had died.

I found the headstone through find a grave dot com and (I save you the long story) it was by the sincerest accident that I did find the grave. I was never so touched, which is why last month, on my way driving to Michigan to take care of things for my mom, I stopped to see him. His mother refers to him as the baby. She was so kind to speak to me. Very open and certainly far more clear and lucid in her memories than my own mother can be. Yes, my father was repeating the steps of his own dad. Yes, my father was likely a lot worse. He was evil, as one therapist once put it to me.

The stone I found, it turns out,  was the one my father had replaced. Or, he had replaced the original as it had been worn by the weather and details were unreadable. The baby's mother lived in Michigan until 1964, and so she had not been to see the grave since; but, she explained to me, that my father's realization over his ways set him off to atone for things he had done. Replacing the stone had been on my dad's bucket list. The cemetary, Maple Grove in Mason MI, was listed on the historical registry in 1985.

There's nothing else exciting except the inspiration that is here. I'll receive a photo of my bro (it's coming in the mail). poor wee thing.

Here's a link to the stone from the find a grave site. I have my own pictures, but this is what I had found by accident and so....

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