So, back to my Uncle Johnny’s girlfriend….
Mary Margaret Carlin died in December 1963 from leukemia, and her son was put up for adoption.
Fast forward to 2009. I was looking for my uncle’s son, and had only been able to find his date of birth. I was, however, able to find Mary’s siblings, after finding their names mentioned in the mom’s death notice from the San Francisco Chronicle. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I found addresses for all of them. After much consideration, I composed a letter and sent it out to all of them. My purpose was to see if they knew the home Mary had been in, the lawyer’s name, or any other pertinent info on the adoption. After a about a month, I received a typed letter, with no return address, from one of the sisters. It was not a happy letter. She told me that I had caused much grief as none of them had known about Mary’s “predicament.” She wrote that either it wasn’t true or their parents hadn’t told them for a reason, and either way, I had sullied the memory of their poor, long-departed sister. Whoa.
Talk about white and uptight! My family has its share of skeletons, but this wasn’t one of them. I had known about Mary and her baby all my life; I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know about them. My mom had Mary’s graduation picture and it had always been there on her bureau, or somewhere, and she was discussed as if she had been a part of the family, which I guess she was. The Carlin parents, on the other hand, didn’t even want the other children to know about this. I can’t imagine how much grief and shame Mary went through because of her parents.
The letter from the Carlin sister ended with the instruction to honor my word about not bothering them anymore if they weren’t interested in helping me in my search. She also felt like she was being stalked. Oh, brother. Anyway, last week when I called Holy Cross Cemetery for a grave location, I was told that information was “restricted.” I’m sure that’s because of me.
Well, to heck with them, because I found it anyway! Bwahahahahaha!