Photography by Jenn Cady
By Shelley Hill Young
My IOUs add up to more than I could ever hope to repay, But you know the nicest thing about it all, That I know, that she had marked the entire bill ‘paid in full,’ For just one kiss and four little words….Mom, I Love You!
Richard “Box” Bachschmidt closes his popular Box in the Morning radio show on 105.5 The Bridge with the song “IOU” by Jimmy Dean every Mother’s Day. “It gets me every time,” he says. “I have a lot of respect for my mom.”
This holiday, Box has two mothers to celebrate. At 42 years old, he recently found and met his birth mother. She is coming to Charleston at the end of the month, and they are traveling to Florida so he can meet his maternal family for the first time.
Box learned he was adopted when he was about 8 years old. He recalls that his family was on the way to his great-grandmother’s house. He’s not quite sure why, but he asked his mom if he was adopted. She said, “Yes,” and Box says he didn’t think much more about it at the time.
But in the back of his mind, he always was curious about his birth mother. He often wondered when his birthday came around each year, “Is there some lady out there on Dec. 29 wondering what I am doing?”
Box considers Maria, the woman who raised him, his mother, and he never wanted his adoptive parents to feel any less like his parents. He says he has no negative feelings toward his birth mother and he didn’t want to interfere with her life.
Finally, last year, he asked his mother for his birth mother’s name. “I’m a 42-year-old man. I can handle it,” he told his mom. “I just want to know who I am.”
Sherlyn Marsh. A unique spelling. Box Googled her and quickly found her high school yearbook photo. Sherlyn had entered her married name on the site. Box looked her up on Facebook. She was the first person to pop up. He sent her a Facebook message that started something like: “Hey, weird question….” The two messaged back and forth, and eventually she confirmed that he was indeed her son.
Sherlyn lived in Long Beach and Box already was planning a trip to San Diego, so they planned to meet at Pacific Beach. He says the two hugged and cried and hugged and cried some more. It was like “what people tell me falling in love is like,” he says. “It was a marvelous feeling.”