Our mom, but not your mom

There’s a strange linguistic dynamic at play as I start the search for my heretofore unknown brother.

I keep wondering what I need to tell him about my mom.

But it’s not just my mom.

It’s our mom. His mother, too.

But, not really his mom. Because she didn’t raise him. And didn’t know him, and he didn’t know her.

Mom, but not a mom.

I don’t know where I would even start to tell him about her life.

Can I tell him how she was strong and fierce and did anything and everything for her boys? But she didn’t do that for all of her boys, because he’s one of them…and she gave him up.

Maybe she learned how to be so strong because she had to give him up. That’s probably not what he wants to hear.

Whoever this person is, even though he’s my brother, he won’t feel about my mom the same way I do. He can’t. He never knew her, and now he can’t because she’s gone.

I can’t even answer the most basic question he might have. Why? Why did she give him up? That answer went to the grave with her seven years ago.

Where do you start telling someone about the life of a person they have a connection to but never knew?