Who does Stan think he is? (ii)

Yesterday I told the first part of a true story, changing all the names and details; here is part 2 – Stan only discovered his mother was really his step-mother when he was in his sixties. Although he had a happy childhood with loving parents, now in his old age he often wonders who his ‘real’ mother might have been. On his eightieth birthday, his granddaughter, Lily gives him a present.


“All you have to do, granddad is to spit in this tube,” Lily told him the following day.

“Are you sure about this, Stan?” Rose asked, worried her husband might discover something he would rather not know… she’d had friends who had got pregnant back in the sixties, before the pill was readily available. She knew of sad stories and troubled lives – one girl she knew who’d set next to her in geography had actually died… apparently she killed herself… “David isn’t sure it’s the right thing to do – supposing you do find some family, supposing they’re shocked and upset to find out that Mary gave away a child, supposing they want something from you…”

“Much as I love my son, David always sees the negative… I don’t expect anything to come from this except to find I’m part Viking, or related to Gladstone!!”

“Quite right, granddad – this will tell you where your family came from, you can forget all about distant relations who are still alive!”

“Right! Pass me the tube and let me get spitting and dribbling!”

“Are you nervous, granddad?” Lily asked. She was sitting with Rose and Stan in the garden of a riverside pub, and they were about to meet Jenny…

“Not nervous, exactly, I just feel sort of in shock – it’s all happened so quickly!” Stan passed his hand over his silver hair and tugged his ear. , and Rose told him he looked fine. He was nervous, she could tell – being married for Stan for over fifty years and she knew all his little ways.

“I’ll go and get another drink,” and Lily jumped up. She was nervous too – she had started this. It had seemed so simple, and then the results came back, part Irish, indeed part Viking, and an interesting Greek marker – no wonder granddad loved the sun, wine and olives, they had teased him! But then an unexpected result had been thrown up – a match to someone, a close connection and confidence in the result extremely high! A close connection, as in a first cousin or sibling…

“Hi Jake!” she exclaimed as she saw her cousin at the bar – but as the young man turned round she realised it wasn’t Jake… but gosh, he could have been his twin! The young man grinned and she explained her mistake. It was busy at the bar and the young guy began to make conversation. He’d never been to the place before but seemed ok except it was so busy.

“I’m here with my grandparents, they’ve come to meet some relations,” Lily said, waving in vain at the bar person.

“Same – funny story – the person gran is meeting is a brother she never knew she had!”

Astounded, Lily turned to him.

“Is your gran Marian?” she asked in amazement. “My granddad’s Stan!!”

“Wow!! Hello cousin!”

© Lois Elsden 2018

In the true story, the families of the two half-siblings did meet and instantly felt connected. Both sides of the family had happy lives, and now they meet regularly. In fact my friend has just returned from a successful holiday with the new old family!


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