That is my surname. Some of you know this, but some of you do not. The name is Brazilian and I've not a drop of Brazilian blood. I am part Polish (very proud!) and part French-Canadian (also very proud, but somehow the Polish part takes over the French-Canadian).
How did I come to have this name?
My grandmother (after her divorce from said Brazilian man) fell in-love with a married man, had an affair and became pregnant. This is how my father was born.
I did not know about this until after she passed away in 1986. I was upstairs in my room, bawling my eyes out (I loved my Grandma Stella so much and was very close to her) after her funeral. My parents came upstairs and told me the "truth" about my biological history. I was then told that we would never speak of it again.
My father lived with his illegitimacy his entire life. He never sought after my grandfather. He wouldn't give him the satisfaction. I still admire the courage it took my dad to avoid seeking his natural father. This is something I don't think I could file away as neatly as my dad did ("He didn't give a shit about me, so I don't give a shit about him."). Still, I wonder about my grandfather. I wonder if he knew I even existed. I don't feel as though I missed out on anything, as I come from a very loving family who cherished me and made me feel safe and appreciated. But I think about him sometimes. And his wife, who didn't know what was going on. And his children, my aunts and uncles, who did not know about me or my dad.
It took a long time to be able to be public with all of this. After my parents told me about the whole thing, I felt that telling anyone would breach the trust I had with my mom and dad. But after a period of time, I realized that I wasn't going to be ashamed of who I was. I love my Grandmother, and that includes every decision she's ever made. Had it not been for her "bad" decision, I wouldn't be here.
There is so much I can say about this woman - I could write a book. Her bravery inspires me everyday. I could never feel ashamed by anything she did. I just wish I had had the opportunity to let her know, face-to-face.