DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Mom passed away last summer, and Dad asked me to help go through things so he can get the house ready to be put on the market. When I was helping him, I came across some old photos of my mom and another man posing together in wedding clothes.
I asked my dad about the pictures I found, but he said he did not want to talk about it. That it was my mother’s private story, and that I should not poke my nose into it.
I think that my mother’s being married to someone before my dad is a pretty big deal. I cannot believe I never knew about this, and when I spoke to my aunt, my mom’s sister, I got the same reaction as I did from my dad.
Do I let this story die with my mom? It hurts that my parents never trusted me with this information. What if I have a whole other family somewhere that I will never know about? --- DAUGHTER OF A SECRET KEEPER
DEAR DAUGHTER OF A SECRET KEEPER: It would probably be fairly easy to track down the records of a previous marriage, but it still may not provide all the answers you seek.
I get your curiosity and your hurt, but I also think you need to accept that, for whatever reason, this was part of her past your mother purposely chose not to share with you.
We all have our secrets, some of which we keep even from those we love best. It doesn’t mean your mother loved you and the life she built with your father any less than you always had reason to believe she did before your recent discovery.