Before my mom died, this is what I knew about her life:
- During her childhood her parents and younger brother died.
- She lived with an aunt and uncle who abused her.
- She met my brother’s father in the 70s while he was stationed in Manila.
- They got married.
- They moved to the US (North Carolina) and my brother was born in 75.
- My brother’s father died in the late 70s.
- My mom had my sister in 79 with a new partner. They separated eventually.
- My mom met my dad in the 80s, had me in 85, and we moved down to Florida
- My mom and dad eventually separated as well.
- We lived all over Tampa from the late 80s until now.
- My mom died on June 29th, 2019, leaving no family besides me, my brother and my sister and their kids.
My brother messaged me last night. We have family in the Philippines. They’ve been searching for our mom for four decades. We have aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins. The original timeline is shattered. And I’m left with thousands of questions. Not only do I have to process my grief, but now I have to come to grips with the fact that my mom had an entire family in the Philippines that she never told us about. Why?