"The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide."
I am glad I came across this quote, today, AFTER I sent my mom the letter that she received last Friday. In it, I avoided admitting I had seen my uncle (dad's last surviving sib now), but I did not lie.
I told another truth instead, one my mom had not asked me about. That I was glad to meet Aunt E.n in the nick of time.
When she asks me (for she will once her courage returns), "Did you see your Uncle 'J,' too," I will not lie, nor will I speak the truth.
For her deception so trivializes my own need to protect myself. I might switch the topic to the one that is most important to me, and motivated me to find my dad's family, "behind her back" as she would put it. I can imagine saying, "Mom, what matters to me, is that I finally have a sense of what my dad's people are like. Why was it was so important to keep us apart, for fifty years, so that I only now can appreciate Uncle's daughter? When we talked, I discovered she and I lived an hours drive away, when we were in college!"