I can only assume that the defining moment of my grandfather’s life was a moment that never came. A moment that he may have waited for or wished on, prayed for or merely held on to in slight hope. I wonder how often it crept up on him on those long nights as a young sailor and I wonder how many of his last thoughts fifty years later in that hospital bed were of the mother that he never knew.
I did not know that my great-grandmother was not biologically his mother, although it didn’t matter much, as I met her once and despite fond memories, they are few. As happens when the morals and social norms of the past meet with the liberalized views of the present, I have difficulty in understanding why my grandfather was never told who his mother was and why she was not a part of his life. The sensitive nature of a possible affair or child-born out of wedlock is lost on one from a generation where these are, essentially, accepted practices. But I question the reasoning in the weighing on the potential harm that was done. Is being shamed for your indiscretion worse than raising a child forced into ignorance about his heritage?
As my grandmother, father and I push against time and those records and memories lost to it, our frustration grows. The information that we do have is only as useful as the audience it reaches. We have half of what we need. We knew the man, the father, the grandfather, the husband, but we’d like to know the son.
The information that we do have is limited, as we have been unable to find a birth certificate. We believe he, Victor Taylor, was born December 1924 in or around Luray, Kansas. His father’s name was Roy Taylor. His mother may have been named Sara Marion Evert Evans, although we have not been able to confirm that information through our research. We’ve also heard that she may have died before he was two.