I can remember her picture sitting on the piano in the living room. She was so beautiful in her pictures. Her name was Zetta Mae; I was told that she named me. I always wanted to meet her to thank her for my name.
The woman who I was given to told me that I would turn out to be a prostitute, and that I was nothing compared to her own children. I did not know that I was not hers. I only thought that she treated me bad, but I didnít know why. What a head game this was, no matter my accomplishments, I was still told that I would be nothing.
Then one day I met the woman who had raised Zetta Mae. She told me that we looked so much alike, she showed me her picture. Zetta Mae and I graduated from the same high school. Zetta Maeís mother gave her away also. Her mother, who was my grandmother, had been raped by her teacher, who already had a family. Upon Zetta Maeís birth my grandfather told them to take her out of town to be raised or he would have Zetta Mae drowned. Mrs. Gilbert who raised Zetta Mae told me these things.
One day while visiting the woman, who raised me, she told me that Zetta Mae had died. On the street where the woman who raised me lived, was a church, at the corner of the block. She told me that Zetta Maeís funeral was taking place at that moment. I went on the porch and looked at the hearse not knowing at this time that my mothersí funeral services were being held. I told the woman who raised me that I always wanted to meet her; she looked at me sadly, but didnít say a word. It was years later that I found out that Zetta Mae was my mother.
I would that I could tell Zetta Mae that she has a grand-daughter who has the same name that she gave to me. I wonder what she was like, how she lived, and how her life was. I was told by Mrs. Gilbert that Zetta Mae died of a drug overdose.
I write this short story to give her the honor that a daughter would give to a mother. I never got to know you Zetta Mae, but you have always remained in my thoughts and in my heart. I forgive you for giving me away; perhaps it was the best thing for you to do at the time. I really donít know. The family you gave me to never showed me any love. I have learned about love from the love of God. You have four grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. I have told them all about you. As a matter of fact, they look like you.
What made you think that you couldnít come up to me on the street and tell me the truth? Yes I would have been shocked but I would have had you. When I turned 18 years old, that family took away my door key. I was left all alone, but I have since married, had children, and am now divorced. I am the Matriarch of my family which consists of my children and grandchildren.
Mrs. Gilbert told me where you are buried, and I looked for your grave. I brought flowers with me, but your grave is unmarked. At least I know where you are. My life has been hard but God will see me through it all. Hopefully one day when I am able I will find your grave and place a tombstone on it. To let people know that my mother is there, even if I didnít get to meet you. I still love you. May you rest in peace Zetta Mae.
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