This is another true story; however I have changed all the personal details as in fact this is not really my story. However, the essence of it is completely true.
No-one would guess Stan Everley was nearly eighty, and it was only when he and his wife sent round invitations for a party to celebrate his four score years that some of his friends realised. The party was in the afternoon, in Stan and his wife Rose’s lovely garden, with a marquee erected in case of rain. However the sun shone but there was a gentle breeze. Stan had said ‘no presents!’ on the invitation, but even so, there were bottles of champagne and whisky with bows round their necks, garden-centre vouchers, book tokens, wine and dine vouchers – so many of his friends and family wanted to show their love and affection with a small token.
Stan’s granddaughter Lily, arrived a little late, she had just flown back from Iceland and had come straight from the airport. She sat with her grandparents on a bench beside the pond, the fish flashing gold and red beneath the lily pads.
“I know you said no presents, granddad, but several months ago, after we’d been talking about the family I had a sudden inspiration for something for you. I did think of Christmas, but then your party invitation arrived… so here it is…”
“What on earth is it?” asked Rosy, mystified as Stan looked at the contents of the small packet he’d been given.
Lily explained; she’d been asking Stan about his parents, as she had become interested in her family history. Stan had told her what he knew and remembered about of the Everley family, giving her names as well as some stories, but about his mother’s side of the family he could tell her nothing.
“My mother left me the day after I was born; she and dad weren’t married and in those days women didn’t have many choices. I guess she could have had me adopted or left me with an orphanage but she did the decent thing and left me with dad – and he did the decent thing and kept me. He married quite soon, and my sisters were born, and I was brought up by a wonderful step-mum… I didn’t know she was my step-mum… it was only when dad was very ill that he told me… she’d died by then…”
Stan had been intrigued, not shocked but surprised. He’d had a marvellous family and he had never guessed the truth. His stepmother’s name was Mary, and on his birth certificate his mother’s name was Mary Warren. He’d thought he must have been born before they married and there’d never been a conversation about it. His dying father had given him his ‘real’ mother’s name, Mary Warren, but it had all been so long ago…
He would love to know about his ‘real’ mother… did she marry, have children? Did he have brothers and sisters somewhere? The name was too common to try and find out anything, and he had no idea of her date of birth, only that she had been twenty-two when he was born. When he told Lily she had immediately gone on her genealogical site, trying to find Mary Warren born about 1916/7/8 but there were too many women of that name born about that time, and with no other information…
“Well, granddad, I’m not sure if this will help, but you never know. Maybe this will help solve your mystery!
Part 2 tomorrow!
© Lois Elsden 2018