A Most Unusual Reunion
By Eve Quillin
There is a chapter in my book, “My Life In Shorts,” titled “The Person Who Changed My Life Forever.” This chapter is about a man I fell in love with, and loved until the day he died, May 6, 1979. Ours was a stormy, hard to manage, crazy relationship with happiness beyond measure. All of these things seemed destined to happen. This story is about a time in that relationship that you will find more interesting than any of the fiction stories you read, but every word is true.
Very much in love, but still married to others, I got pregnant with his child. We didn’t intend it to happen, but we loved each other so much that we cherished this “pregnancy time” so our little girl was born. Since we were both still married to others, and not knowing where our relationship was going, we decided that the best thing for her especially, and for all of us, was to adopt her out. We both wanted her raised in the Jewish faith,. And at the time the Jewish people were having a very hard time getting babies to adopt, because most adoptions were children given up from couples of other religious beliefs, so the Jews had very few oppurtunities to adopt children. At the time we lived in Denver so we went through the Jewish Family Service to give her up. Both Bernie and I knew a family in Denver, him socially, with his then wife, and me by doing business with the man. We both liked the family, and since only two children were adopted through the Jewish Family Service in the year of 1955, and our daughter was born in May, we thought when this family adopted their little girl through this service in MAY, that we knew for sure who had our baby. We were both happy for her. We knew she would have the best of care and love beyond measure, because these were loving people. We never attempted to contact them about her, fearing that we would cause them worry that we would perhaps someday try to get her back. We would not cause them a moments worry, if we could possibly help it, and they might have decided not to tell her that she was adopted. In those days, many people did not tell their children. The man who was the head of the Jewish Family Service at that time . was very kind to me and he took our little girl out to a photo studio and had her first baby picture made. She must have been about 3 or 4 days old. I kept the picture and often looked at it trying to guess what she might look like now.
After much drama, Bernie & I eventually married on February 17, 1959. Our love was the strongest thing in life to us, and our children were nearly grown, so we divorced our spouses and married. We moved to the Los Angeles area in early 1960 to start over, away from the embarrassment we had caused, of breaking up our marriages in order to be together. I have no excuse except to say that I believe we have always been together, perhaps in other lives and when we met again in this one, we couldn’t live without being together.
Well life goes on and we lived in Los Angeles for many years. I had three children and he had two, and we combined our families as much as we could. Everyone was nearly grown and they were beginning to go their own ways. Then I was offered a job in Las Vegas, which would be a good career move, so we moved to Las Vegas. My son lived with a drug problem from age 13 and finally ended up on Herion. At this time there were no Rehab centers, nowhere to go to get help, and we didn’t have money to go to the private places that were most likely available, but we didn’t even know about them. On July 24, 1975 my son found a woman here in Las Vegas who sold him two shots of Herion within 2 hours, and with his daughter who was 12 at the time, he drove them home. They went to be bed about 2 AM and she woke up at noon, on the 24th, and found her father dead in bed. What a terrible way to waste a beautiful life.
A few months after my son’s death, Bernie’s ex- wife, who had remarried and still lived in Denver, sent us a clipping from the Denver paper about our little girl. It said she had been murdered in November 1975. Someone had killed her when she was “hitching” a ride within the city somewhere. I put the article, which included a picture with it, with our Baby’s baby picture. Well, for me that was two of my children gone within months of each other. . I felt so sorry for the people who had adopted her. I had heard that they had adopted other children also, but the pain must have been as unbearable as me losing my son. So I said “goodbye” to two of my children, knowing that in God’s love they were both in his arms.
Four years later on May 6, 1979 my Bernie died, so our life together was over. It was a horrible time of life, to lose the love of your life. Many of you reading this known this pain. But again, we must go on.
Now we move ahead until 2010. I am married to the second love of my life, a man I have known for over 50 years, and our love is so great that he allows my Bernie to live with us. Perhaps this is not understood, but what I mean is that I can talk about Bernie, have friends that were mine when I was with Bernie, in other words my old life is allowed by my darling husband, to be a part of the life we are living now. There are few men who are big enough and secure enough, to love a woman and still let her share the life she lead with another man. So I have been able to tell him everything that has happened to me in life, and know I will not be judged critically for anything I tell him. On May 10 2010, I was watching television, as usual in the evening, when the phone rang. I answered and a girl’s voice said, “I don’t know how to say this, except to just come out and say it. I am your daughter.”
I thought this must be some kind of scam, so I started questioning her, and she said that she had been looking for me all of her life. Then she said the key words, “You named me Barbara.” That was correct and she couldn’t have known without it being the truth. We talked for a long while and I learned that the two children who had been adopted out through the Jewish Family Services in 1955, were both born in May. The girl we thought was our’s, I have since found out, was born May 9th. Our baby was born May 13th. What are the odds of such a thing?
Well my new daughter has been renamed Mindy, she has a wonderful Mother and Father, she has had a happy childhood and has been supported by her family in everything she does. She has a brother, also adopted by her parents, and she has a 15 year old daughter. So I have another Granddaughter much younger then my other three. On the 27th of May, Mindy got on a plane and came to Las Vegas to meet me. What a reunion. We met in a public place and we held each other for 5 minutes before we even spoke. We knew each other instantly, because other than me being 27 years older then she is, we were looking in a mirror, when we looked at each other. Now we will go on, getting acquainted, catching up on each other’s lives, and being grateful that we have found each other, while we are both on this earth plane. What a dramatic loving challenge. I only hope I am allowed time to get to know her, to introduce her to the rest of our family, and to know that they will all have each other when I am no longer here. I have two wonderful daughters that I raised and that I adore, and though we live miles away from each other we talk by phone everyday so that we can be involved in each other’s day to day lives. This way it isn’t so lonely without them living closer.
Now life has blessed me with a new challenge for my old age, something besides struggling with my aches and pains. Getting acquainted with a new daughter who has many of the same interests I do, and we are having a ball trying to catch up. What a wonderful time of life for me, in my 80’s with a new child to get to know. !!!