In today's society, women are wearing makeup more than ever. There are thousands of products available in the market, ranging from lipsticks and mascara to highlighters, foundation, and much more. Since makeup is important during the day when women get home they need to remove it and let their skin recover.
However, this story is about a woman who didn't remove makeup at all, even during night time. Once she put the makeup on, she would wear it to bed and continue to wear it the day after. Her daughter always thought that her habits were very strange, and she couldn't find anyone else doing the same thing. Since her mother remained mysterious about it even when she was asked, the daughter decided to dig on her own and find out whether a certain event from the past was responsible for this. What she discovered would make all of her mother's strange behavior finally make sense...
1. The Story Begins With Gail Lukasik's Past
Alvera Rita was an intriguing woman, loved by many, especially by her daughter Gail Lukasik who thought a world of her.
During her lifetime, Alvera was a very beautiful woman. She got married to Harold during World War II, and according to the stories, it was love at first sight. Even though they were together all the time, Harold and the rest of the family were unaware of Alvera's dark secret. Somehow, no one was able to figure her secret out all this time, until now.
2. The Great Love
The love between Alvera and Harold was pure and wonderful. Harold was very funny and used to make her laugh all the time.
The two met during Harold's service in the Pacific. After they met and started dating, it was as if both of them knew they would stay together forever. Harold loved Alvera so much that he was oblivious to the great secret she kept. No one knew what the future would bring, but certainly, no one expected what was about to happen.
3. The Events After the War
Even though they were in love for so long, they still couldn't get married while the war lasted.
They had to wait a few years, but after World War II, they finally got the chance to tie the knot. In 1944, they moved to Parma, Ohio. The newlyweds bought a home in a working-class neighborhood. It was two years later that they got wonderful news. In 1946, the couple welcomed the newest member of the family - their daughter, Gail.
4. Gail's Normal Childhood
When thinking about it, Gail had a pretty normal childhood like the rest of her friends.
There was nothing out of the ordinary. Her parents loved each other a lot, and both showed love and care to Gail all the time. They loved spending time together doing various activities. However, Gail remembers that her mom behaved strangely from time to time. Now that she thinks about it, the memories made sense once she found out her mother's secret.
5. The Odd Habits Her Mother Had
Even though everything appeared to be normal, Gail remembers her mother had a few odd habits. Alvera was a mysterious woman who used to do certain things every day that didn't make sense to Gail whatsoever.
Gail tried to talk to her mom on more than one occasion about her habits, but her mother always provided a vague and incomplete answer. However, there was a certain ritual her mother had that she thought was the weirdest of all.
6. She Used to Wear Makeup All the Time
Every day Alvera used to spend a lot of time putting on and fixing her makeup. Even when she was going to sleep, she used to wear a light foundation.
Gail always considered her mother's actions strange. On more than one occasion, she would ask her mother about it, but she never got a straight answer. Her mother used to say: “Well, Gail, you never know when you are going to get sick. What if, in the middle of the night, the ambulance would come? You always want to look your best, because you would get treated better at the hospital.” But this wasn't the end to Alvera's strange behavior.
7. She Was Very Afraid of the Sun
It appears that Alvera was afraid of the sun, and she would never go out if she didn't wear a hat or any other protection.
Her face wasn't the only part of her body she was protecting. She would also wear gloves to cover her hands both in summer and winter. It was as she avoided the sun no matter what. However, the biggest issue Gail had with her mother was the way she would talk about her own family.
8. What Were Alvera's Parents Like?
Sadly, Gail never got the chance to meet her grandparents. She used to ask her all the time to meet her grandfather, Azemar Frederic.
However, Alvera seemed to always ignore those requests and never gave an honest explanation as to why she couldn't meet him. If anything, that made Gail even more curious to find out more. Every now and then, Gail would start the subject and ask many questions, but her mother brushed them off and gave strange and short answers.
9. Grandfather Azemar Frederic
Since Gail never got the chance to meet her grandfather, as a curious person, she used to ask all kinds of questions about him.
Gail was very curious about when and where her grandfather was born, but also when he passed away. Her mother never took her questions seriously and didn't want to provide a clear answer. Alvera would say that she didn't remember, which was very strange for Gail. You should remember everything about your own father, right?
10. Gail Was Confused and Full of Doubt
Gail never met her grandfather Azemar, but she became even more suspicious when she couldn't find any photos of him.
Gail felt sad and confused, but she decided not to give up. After several decades, when she got tired of her mother not giving her any answers, Gail decided to search on her own. The next logical step would be to dig on her own and try to discover his identity. She was determined to find out once and for all who her grandfather was.
11. The Search for Her Grandfather Begins
Gail was 48 years old when she decided it was time to take matters into her own hands. She was determined to find out who her grandfather was.
The search began in 1995 when she started to examine the old microfilm. She looked and looked, but couldn't find him anywhere. After some time she wanted to give up, but then she noticed something. What she was about to discover would change her life forever!
12. Her Search Provided Some Results
It wasn't an easy job looking so far into the past, and Gail had a long road of searching and examining ahead of her.
Gail's search led her to 1900 Louisiana Census records and she was eagerly looking for her grandfather's name Azemar Frederic. After some time, she finally found out what she was looking for. There were several Frederics in the same column, so she began examining other information related to their names. That's when something caught her eye.
13. The List of Names Caught Her Eye
Gail was thrilled to stumble upon this discovery. It was as if she knew something big was coming, and she could finally learn the truth about her grandfather.
During her examination, she discovered that all the people on the list named Azemar Frederic had the letter "B" next to them. At first, she didn't know what it meant, but then she saw the row name which had the letter "B" in it. Her heart started beating rapidly, and she began to figure out what it all meant.
14. The Letter "B" Indicated the Person's Race
After all this time, Gail was close to figuring out her mother's dark secret. She looked at the row name and at first, she couldn't understand what she was looking at.
After analyzing the information for a bit, Gail finally understood what it all meant. The name of the row indicated the person's race, and next to all of the "Azemar Frederic" was the letter "B". Was any person from that list actually her grandfather?
15. Searching for More Information
The news did come as a shock to Gail since she didn't imagine this was what she would find out when she started searching for new information.
It was now clear that the letter "B" indicated the person was black. Gail immediately wanted to confront her mother Alvera, but she decided to wait a bit longer. First, she decided to reach out to the State of Louisiana, and find her mother's birth certificate as well. Gail wanted to gather as much information as possible before speaking to her mother.
16. Finally Getting the Approval to Receive the Document
Gail knew it won't be an easy job receiving her mother's birth certificate.
For starters, since her mother was alive, only she could request the birth certificate. Gail thought of a brilliant idea, so when she called the offices of the State of Louisiana, she pretended to be her mother. She filed an official request to get a copy of a birth certificate since she lost hers. It wasn't long before she received the document in the mail. Gail was shocked when she read her mother's birth certificate.
17. Strange Letters in the Document's Sections
Gain couldn't wait to start examining the document in more detail. She looked at the document, and instead of receiving more answers, she was only left with more questions.
There was a particular section in the document that she thought was very strange. The section included the letters "col", which she found very strange. Since she didn't know what the letters mean, she decided to write to the office again and demand an explanation.
18. Demanding a Clarification for the Letters
Gail was confused about the letters and thought that they have a significant meaning. She just had to know what they meant.
Gail wrote again to the State of Louisiana and had only one question for them - what do the letters "col" mean. It wasn't long before she got an official answer from the state. When she opened the letter and read the first paragraph, she was left speechless. That could explain why her mother never talked about it.
19. The Content of the Letter
The letter from the state wasn't very long but contained important information that Gail has been searching for all her life.
In the letter, the state wrote an explanation saying that "col" is actually short of "colored". Gail couldn't believe her eyes. She wasn't even sure whether her mother knew anything about it, and initially thought it was a big mistake. However, after some time, Gail started having doubts about the entire situation and remembered that her mother always kept her heritage a big secret.
20. She Waited for Two Years Before Speaking to Her Mother
It has been a long journey for Gail before she discovered the big secret.
Gail probably felt overwhelmed by the discovery, so she waited for long two years before acting on it. She had many more questions that still needed to be answered. Among all of them, she couldn't stop thinking whether her mom knew about her own birth certificate and if she knew, why didn't she say anything. What was she hiding? Finally, Gail thought it was time to confront her mother and get the answers to all of her questions.
21. The Confrontation
After all that time Gail finally confronted her mother. It was time to get the answers to all of her questions, and put an end to the many mysteries once and for all!
She visited her mother one afternoon, and finally asked the questions that were on her mind for so long. Gail started by asking why there were the letters "col" listed on her birth certificate. She couldn't have imagined what her mother was about to say.
22. The Response
Gail started by saying that she had found her mother's birth certificate, but there was a certain section that sparked her interest.
The section in the certificate indicated her mother as being colored. Alvera immediately became nervous and didn't want to answer any questions. She continued by saying: “I don’t know what birth certificate you have, but mine says I’m white!” Of course, Gail didn't believe her answer since she spent years searching for the truth and thinking about it all. Gail decided to ask her mother a different question.
23. Digging for the Truth
Gail explained to her mother that she has been digging for the truth for some time now and knew quite a bit.
She continued by explaining that she stumbled across other documents as well. The Census Records document indicated that her grandfather was listed as black. She also asked her mother not to lie about the letters "col" since she received an official answer from the state saying it means colored. Her mother listened calmly and then started speaking.
24. She Will Never Forget Her Words
Gail listened carefully as her mother started explaining, but she couldn't miss noticing a great sadness in her mother's eyes.
Alvera continued her story by saying: "You have to promise me, you will never tell anyone until after I die. Because how will I hold my head up with my friends if they know?” Gail was stunned to hear that weird request, however, she wasn't prepared for what was coming next. Her mother shared a heartbreaking and mysterious past.
25. A Very Sad Truth
As her mother started revealing and sharing her stories, Gail figured everything finally made sense.
Her mother's strange makeup habits, fear of the sun, and also the continuous need for a hat and gloves. Alvera pretended to be white her entire life. However, Gail couldn't help but think why her mother wanted to hide her origins. There wasn't anything wrong with being of a different race, so she started asking more questions and finally got the answer.
26. Her Secret Is Finally Revealed
Gail remembered her mother from photos and she always looked white. Even now when you look at her, nothing seems out of the ordinary and she appears to be white in real life too.
However, her birth certificate clearly indicated that she was black. Also, there was a certificate from her grandfather who was intriguing as well. Alvera continued her story and learned she started the transition into a white woman many years ago when she met Gail's father Azemar.
27. The Beginning of the Story
Gail clearly remembers her father and remembers clearly that he was white. The worst thing is that he didn't know his wife Alvera Rita was black.
The couple was deeply in love, and after deciding to get married, the couple moved to Ohio to start their life. It was that moment when Alvera decided to take on a white race. Gail couldn't hide the shock on her face. The bigger issue for her was that she didn't know anymore who she was or what other secrets were kept from her.
28. The Truth of Her Grandparents
Alvera Rita continued to share the information that Gail was searching for for so long. She wasn't prepared for what was coming next.
She indicated that her grandfather was African-American so that confirmed the letter "B" that Geil found on the birth certificate. However, now she discovered that her grandmother was also of a mixed race. Alvera said that in order to start a new life with the man that she loved, she had to cut all ties with her parents.
29. Discovering More About Gail's Father
Were all of the hiding and secrets because Gail's mother fell in love with Gail's father?
Alvera continued to explain more about Gail's father, providing some facts that even Gail didn't know. Azemar was a white man, no different than other white men of his generation. However, Gail remembers that on more than one occasion he argued with Alvera about the things he said. While watching the TV, he used to say racial slurs every now and then. Alvera knew that she could never be with him if she was black, so she decided to make a change.
30. The Request to Keep Her Secret
After sharing her story, Alvera had only one request for her daughter Gail.
She wanted Gail to keep her secret at least until her death. Gail was devastated and sad to hear that request, but she still kept this a secret for 17 years. During that time, she never spoke about her findings or shared her mother's secret. Even though Gail tried to talk about it on a few more occasions, her mother never wanted to share anything else. Gail understood something from her mother's story.
31. Gail Finally Understands the True Reason
After so many years of mysteries and secrets, Gail was finally at peace with herself.
She continued her story by saying: "I know my mother wanted a better life for herself. And the way she saw that was to pass for white. She would have more opportunities for employment and in society in general. To do that, she had to turn her back on her mixed-race heritage and leave her family behind. It was a big sacrifice. She could never live her true authentic self."
32. Gail's Amazing Book
Gail kept her promise to her mother, and never spoke about her secret during her lifetime.
It was in 2017 when her mother passed away that Gail decided to write a book and publish her story "White Like Her: My Family’s Story of Race and Racial Passing." Gail shared all of the information from her life including her mother's struggles and the decision to keep her entire life a secret. The rest of the family was also shocked to uncover the whole truth. In the end, one has to wonder whether you can judge someone's decisions that are made in the name of love?