Friday, September 10, 2010

Family Mystery #4, updated again...

To recap, for those arriving later to the party:  In my parents' papers when they died was an envelope containing a handwritten letter.  The return address was from a DEA agent working in Bogota, Colombia.  The letter was nothing interesting, the continuation of a conversation about a piece of art.  Also inside was a photocopy of my grandparents' marriage certificate.  In Spanish. 

Fast forward a good long while, and the (now former) DEA agent turns out to be an incredibly gracious guy who's more than happy to answer my questions.  Turns out he didn't send the certificate, my mom must've stuck it in the envelope.  Also, they were married in Mexico, not Colombia.  Guess I should've wedged a bit of Spanish in with those 6 years of French.  Ah, well...

The questions that remained were these:  Why did my grandparents get married in Mexico? I suppose it's not too much of a stretch since they lived in Southern California... And, more strangely, how did my mom (the cute little girl torturing the cat, to your left) become pen pals with a DEA agent in South America while I was in college?

So back to the DEA agent I went.  Did I mention that this guy's incredibly gracious about being pestered regarding a letter he mailed in the 90s?  Anyway, he doesn't remember entirely, but thinks he posted an ad somewhere about vintage baseball posters that my mom or someone she knew answered and a correspondence was born.  This is weird on several levels.  I never knew mom to be a fan of baseball, or antique baseball posters.  Also, the letter thanks her for referring Agent Nice Guy to "Bill".  I don't know of anyone in my mom's acquaintance named Bill.  Normally, that wouldn't be a big deal, but with my mom, I began to wonder if he might've been an errant husband she picked up while my stepdad was at the grocery store (See Family Mystery #1 for an explanation that makes that last sentence seem less horrible...).  Agent Nice Guy promises to get in touch if he finds any more letters that might shed some light.  Here's hoping.

Really, the maddening thing is this:  The more I learn about my mother, the more I realize that I really didn't know her at all.  Frustrating.  Take this picture for example...  It's my mom at what I thought was her prom (the timing of the photo is about right), but coincidentally, it's also the year she got married for the first time at the ripe old age of 16.  Maybe it's a wedding picture?  I really dunno.  What do I really know?  As a toddler I got in trouble all the time for messing with that lamp.  Apparently, it was an antique.

The other thing I know (and am trying really, really hard to remember as I dig through all this craziness) is this:

That crazy lady, the one with the poor fashion sense, who married just about everybody, loved me like crazy.  She thought I was pretty much the best thing ever, and made sure I knew it.  That counts for a whole lot.

1 comment:

  1. interesting developments. i love how you ended this post. sweet.