Her eyes as clear as centuries. Her silky hair was brown.
My first grandchild- Aurora Rose – was born less than a month ago- May 9, 2018 at 9:58 am.
She came into the world weighing 7 lbs and 9 oz and had a ton of silky brown hair.
And a grandmother held her granddaughter in her arms for the first time in my family tree since 1924.
She was a beautiful miracle. She is a beautiful miracle.
But the true miracle is how a 94 year disconnect between generations has finally been reconnected.
The story begins and ends with a teenage pregnancy.
On December 21, 1924, in Canborough, Ontario, Canada, my great grandmother, Gladys May Wedgewood gave birth to her first daughter.
She was seventeen years old at the time. In 1924, she gave birth to her daughter, May Wedgewood. It was the “wrong time.”
Unable to raise her alone, Gladys stayed with relatives in Canada for two years with May. Something happened during that time and May became deaf in both ears.
When May was two years old, my great great grandmother, Margaret Elizabeth Dunn Wedgewood, came to Canada and brought May to live in Buffalo, New York where Gladys’ entire family had been living since they immigrated from England in 1921.
And the disconnect appeared. Mothers and daughters being separated would become a theme in my family. Grandmothers not holding their granddaughters would become the norm.
May would later be adopted by her grandparents, William and Margaret Elizabeth Wedgewood and Gladys would return to England, where she got married to Martin Hoath and died without having any more children. My grandmother May was her only child.
May grew up as the child of William and Margaret with her numerous aunts and uncles in the servant’s quarters of the Hoyt Mansion on Amherst Street. My great great grandfather, William, was the ground keeper there.
Gladys died in England on March 9, 1960 without ever seeing her family again. She never saw her first grandchild, who was named after her mother, Margaret Elizabeth.
When May was almost 24, on November 22, 1946, she had my mother. Margaret Elizabeth Stockin was her name at birth.
Her mother May was married to a Dann Stockin at the time, but Dann Stockin is not Margaret’s father. Margaret’s father is still unknown but I know that he was an Italian immigrant and his mother was Caterina Bochichio. It was the “wrong time.”
When Margaret was two years old, May placed her in foster care where she was later adopted and her name became Margaret Elizabeth Krawczyk.
The reason that May placed Margaret and later her son, Richard, in foster care is unknown. It is speculated that her deafness player a role. The fact that her grandmother Margaret died a year after my mother Margaret was born tells me she lost her support and she probably felt alone and felt that she was giving Margaret a better life. Her husband at the time was a traveling salesmen and always gone.
And with that act, the cycle of disconnect between the generations widened over the ages.
So May gave Margaret away and never saw her again. It is still a mystery what happened to May. The only information that I have is that she married a taxicab driver in Derby, New York and possibly died sometime after 1980.
The story of May is a mystery. Her daughter, Margaret Elizabeth is my birth mother.
At age 24, Margaret became pregnant. She was unmarried at the time and pregnant by a Black man.
On March 18, 1970, Margaret had me, Sarah Elizabeth Krawczyk and gave me away at birth. She lived at the Father Baker’s Home for Unwed Mothers while pregnant and delivered me at Our Lady Of Victory Hospital in Lackawanna.
Her adoptive parents, Chester and Euphemia Krawczyk were racist. Her father told her that she could not bring a Black baby home, so she left me at Father Baker’s. It was the “wrong time.”
At 11 days old, I was sent to the foster home of Robert and Lana Heslin, who would later adopt me at age 2 1/2 in 1972 and I became Sara Jane Heslin.
I never saw my mother, Margaret, she died October 31, 2009.
Margaret never saw any of my children. She would become the third grandmother in my tree who gave away her first born child and who never held her first grandchild.
At age 26, I became pregnant with my first child. I was in my second year of law school and unmarried, and although it was the “wrong time,” I kept her. I dropped out of law school and went to work to support my child.
She would always know her mother. And I will know her children.
That was when the disconnect stopped widening. Because to be honest, when is the “right time”?
It was time to reconnect this family tree. It was time for mothers and daughter to know each other. It was time for grandmothers to hold their granddaughters again.
Although the first Margaret Elizabeth got to hold and raise her granddaughter May, Gladys never got to see or hold her granddaughter, Margaret.
Between the years of 1924 and 2018, the women in my family have never held their granddaughters.
May never held me.
Margaret never held my first born LaNor, nor any of my children and none of her grandchildren.
It was always the wrong time.
And on and on it went until finally… it became… the right time
It would seem like the “wrong time.” My daughter, Sarajane Gabriella Woods, was sixteen when she became pregnant and she would be two months shy of seventeen when she gave birth to my first grandchild.
The Right Time.
May 9, 2018 at 9:58 a.m.
I held my granddaughter, Aurora Rose.
And the generations reconnected.
When I look at my granddaughter and I look into her eyes- all I see are the eyes of Margaret and Gladys and May and Margaret and my daughter, Gabi and my own eyes looking back at me and saying “we made it!”
Her eyes as clear as centuries….Her silky hair was brown….
Never been lonely… never been lied to… never had to scuffle in fear… nothing denied to… born at the instant… the church bells chime…. the whole world whispering….
You’re born at the right time