My Mother’s Brother Jeffrey passed away this week. I would post a photo, but I don’t have any. My Mom sent a profound email to family members today about his life. With her permission I am printing it here. I am thankful for my Mom and her personal strength in overcoming a tragic childhood situation. Her brother did not fare as well in coping in this lifetime. I am sharing her words, as there may be others out there who can relate. It is sad that he lived a life of sadness that all started in childhood. I had no idea. I pray for his surviving son and his future.
Thank you Mom for being a survivor. Jesus heals the heart! Thank you Jesus for coming into my Mom’s heart and changing her life at a young age. I believe that is what gave her a hope for the future that she didn’t know existed. Thank you God for making her MY Mother. I am blessed.
Words below written by my Mother Jenny Licht 2-12-2016
“I woke up thinking about this and wrote it down.
Abandonment and Loss
It didn’t hit me until two days later that God had spoken to me. Directly to me. Well, not the booming voice from heaven but words of another woman were spoken directly to me about something I had no clue were about me and my youngest brother at that moment. About my brother Jeff who unbeknownst to me had just died that day.
I had agreed on short notice the day before I met, let’s call her Joan, to be one of three artists at a “Diva Brunch” at the Bay Colony where I would set up my art on display. The ladies of Pelican Landing come as guests to shop and then do brunch.
Pelican Landing is one of my favorite places to teach my art classes. In “Season” I’m there about once a week. At the Diva Brunch one of my past students, Joan, came up to me and somewhere in the conversation we talked about our children; me saying I have six and that the youngest two are adopted. She then shared “My brother and I are adopted”. She was adopted at a few weeks old and her brother at around age two. I’d say she was probably 60 years old today. When her brother was about 9 years old he found his original birth certificate and one of the lines said “Abandoned”. In black and white he saw that as just a little boy he had been abandoned by his biological mother. She described how devastated her brother was to learn this; how it defined his life. Joan went onto say they have a wonderful family with great adoptive parents; couldn’t be better, but that one word was the moment that changed his life. Abandoned; he could not move beyond it.
I understand abandonment. My youngest brother Jeffrey understands it even more. Abandonment can break your heart. It broke my brother’s heart. He died on Feb. 9 of a massive coronary. He was only 56. As a child at age 10 he didn’t read on a birth certificate that he was abandoned by his biological mother; he lived it. At age 10 he was adopted by wonderful family who embraced and loved him as their own. Years prior my youngest brother along with my brother Julius and sister Joy were passed around from foster home to foster home. Social services finally convinced our biological mother to sign documents releasing him so he could be adopted by the current family he was living with as he wasn’t “too old” yet. She did. I know she did as I was there with her at the courthouse although years later she wondered how he had been able to be legally adopted “out” since she hadn’t signed anything. She did. She abandoned him in black and white.
I don’t know what happened in those foster homes prior to my brother being adopted at age 10. Jeff’s heart broke as a little boy and it never mended. He floundered, struggled and had issues with alcohol. Married a lovely woman had a beautiful son and it fell apart. Abandonment. God spoke to me through Joan so I would understand that yes, he did have a wonderful adoptive family. He married a wonderful woman to whom he had his son. He could have been happier, couldn’t he, I asked God?
God spoke to me the day my brother died so I could have just a tiny glimpse into his heart that had been so broken. Abandonment made a hole the size of a Mack Truck in my brother Jeff’s heart that no amount of love could heal. The story doesn’t have a happy ending. My brother died with his broken heart after a broken lifetime. I didn’t get to know him much while he was alive but he had to be pretty special for God to take the time to tell me this deep in your soul burden my brother carried throughout his life.”