The White Whisker

I found a white whisker on my chin.

To some, this may be an annoyance. To others, it may be a reminder of aging. To still others, it may mean that it is time to get a facial.

To me, it made me tear up and become emotional.

Now, this is not the first time I have had a whisker on my chin. I am a 53 year old woman somewhere in menopause, so, it happens. Sometime, and seemingly overnight, one will spring up and I will carefully pluck it out with my green tweezers. Often it is a “one and done” whisker, sometimes it is a “two or more” situation.

But today, it was one I had missed. It was long, and directly coming out of the bottom of my chin. How did I miss it yesterday, or even the day before yesterday?

When I discovered this determined to grow whisker, I was transported immediately to an apartment in WA state where I sat next to the woman who had carried me in her body for 9 months, then given me away.

When I met my birth mother, she had a white whisker coming from almost the exact same place. Seeing that same white whisker on my own face, I felt some cosmic connection to her that I had not felt in a while.

Weird how that happens to adopted folks.

One white whisker and I am feeling the wet of tears spring into my eyes, feeling big feelings, emotions, memories, regrets and wished for moments from many years leading to the moment I saw HER white whisker

I remember I did not see it on her face at first, as it took a bit of time for us to warm up to the notion that we were in the same room. I think I felt more nervous than I had in my entire life. The kind of nervous that makes your stomach flop around like a fish out of water.

After we spoke for sometime, she looked at me and patted the loveseat cushion next to her as an invitation to sit there, near her, with her.


That is when I noticed the whisker. I noticed everything. Her brown eyes. Her wrinkled face. He mouth that turned up slightly on the edges when she spoke. Hands. HER HANDS were MY HANDS, but actually, my hands, were her hands.

I looked for her for so long. I wanted her to want me for my whole life. I met her and I changed inside as the mystery of me ended. I became my own whole person. Seeing her did that for me. She didn’t mean to make me whole, it just happened. I sought after clarity and honesty and I gifted those things to myself. She owed me nothing. I went seeking just to see her, one time, and to feel her presence, one time. I did not expect anything of her, nor did I want anything from her. Just time.

She was not a person who offered herself to others easily. She was hard and closed and to me, seemed somewhat self absorbed. And yet, there I was, in the room with the body who gave me life. It still feels surreal. It seems that she is not as much of me as I had once thought. Though, at times, I can be hard and closed and self absorbed, too. I feel her that way in me, and I know that when I do, it is time for me to do deep self reflection.

It has been twenty-two months since I got on a plane, and took a car ride to meet her. It has been fourteen months since she died. I try to hold on to my memory of those seven hours spent with her, in that apartment, on that couch, next to her, the warmth of my leg next to hers, her arm around my shoulder.

And, that white whisker on her chin.

We have the same hands.

One thought on “The White Whisker

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  1. This resonates so much with me my BM was hard and closed and somewhat self absorbed too, not all the time and not with everyone but it was there, she lived 10,000 miles away from me, how can you put so much distance between yourself and your baby without being self absorbed? She died 11 months after our meeting so I can count our time together in hours too. Big love and understanding to you xxx


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Robyn Gobbel, LCSW

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