YORK COUNTY, S.C. -- For 30 years, Pat Wild wondered what her daughter looked like.
Now 79, Wild wondered what her grandchildren looked like, worried if they had found success and love and had kids of their own as they became adults.
Sandra Baines, now 58, wondered how her mother, that same Pat Wild, was doing. If she were healthy. If she still made that pumpkin cheesecake around Thanksgiving.
When Baines left her mother more than 30 years ago and moved to California to start her own independent life, her own path, she never looked back. She took her three kids and never called her mother, not once.
"Young ignorance," said Baines. "No other way to describe it."
Wild, a military wife, moved around a lot and had just about given up hearing from her daughter again.
"I hoped, though," Wild said. "I always thought to myself, 'When she's ready, she will remember she has a mother.' "
Lives were lived apart for everybody, as Baines' children grew and started their own families.
"I always wondered why we didn't have family and know them like everybody else," said Baines' daughter, Tammy Mims.
Baines, Mims and Mims' kids all settled in York in 2001. Still, Baines and her mother didn't find each other.
Another of Baines' daughters, Michelle, finally looked up her grandmother in Upstate New York and called her.
Then she handed the phone to her mother, who hesitated and said into the phone: "Hi, Mom."
Wild, on the other end of the phone about 700 miles away, said, "Hi, Sweetheart,"
And the two ladies, one great-great-granny pushing 80 and the other great-granny pushing 60, cried their eyes out.
All the years and hurt feelings that separated them did not matter any more, and bruised emotions seemed so small and stupid, anyway.
They had to get together.
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