Ok, it’s time for you to hear what I have tried to tell you, but maybe you’re too busy to listen, or have some other reason or excuse. Whatever, grab your seat belt, because here it is.
When you actually became my sibling, my parents were beyond any reconciliation. It was over and the bridges had been left in ashes. There was no turning back.
The ‘grapevine’ in my hometown had brought the news of your arrival to those who make such information their prime concern, and who make it their prime concern to make sure such news damages everyone and anyone it can damage. I asked my mother what the truth was. She actually sat me down and told me exactly how, why and what had occurred, in detail, that brought you into this world. Well, since you know what the issue was, I don’t have to relate the detailed information to you. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. She would never talk to me about it again after that. I’m sure you can understand why.
Well, as the years passed, my mother absolutely forbade me to play with you, or to relate to you as a sister because of your father’s role. He screwed around behind his wife’s back and dropped a seed where he shouldn’t have. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely glad you are here, but I also know that you probably weren’t planned, and certainly conceived in passion unrequited. You’re here. It’s all good. I love you as my sister.
Here is what you do not know.
Through my entire life as a boy, I snuck to visit and play with you. I asked my mother constantly why I was not allowed. I never got a straight answer, but I always remembered that explanation that my mother sat me down and gave me about how you came into being. The conversation took place in the living room behind the store front my father used for his television repair business. It was on West Wishkah close to M St. I remember because of the conversation, a birthday I had, a candy bar (U-No) that my mother gave me and I couldn’t understand how the name was pronounced, a dime my grandmother, Gammy (your father’s mother, she passed in 1967 and left me all alone) gave me and I lost it in the small side yard and looked and looked for it with a flashlight. Many more memories, many memories of the fighting between my mother and father because it was the start of the divorce.
Having heard this conversation, I was puzzled. Why had my father done this dastardly deed to my mother? Why? I thought he loved her.
Well, over the years, I wanted to visit and play with my half-sister, although I have never thought of you as less than a sister over the course of my life, but you are, legally, a half-sister. I asked again and again. “NO!” was always the answer. Many times, on my bike, I would pedal to your town and look for you in the neighborhoods with no results. Now and then I got to see you, but I never visited your house. I was not allowed to be anywhere near you because of the animosity and contempt that my mother allowed to grow and fester within her heart. She was like that to the very end, in some degree. Little brother and I made some progress with her that day we called you to come over on Thanksgiving. I’m certain you remember.
Years later, I was ‘shipped off’ to my father’s house. You know where I mean. My mother ‘shipped’ us kids off to here and there like postage parcel. My brothers were ‘shipped’ off to Central Park, I was shipped there on weekends. We were shipped off to our aunt’s house, to anywhere we could be shipped to. Seriously screwy. I have a different word for it, but I won’t use it here. When I was sent to your father’s house, I was back in his custody.
Now, here’s another fine little plot twist. Just a year or so before I was sent to my father’s place, my younger brother had been ‘shipped off’ to your father’s house. Well he thought it a great idea to invite his school buddies over to burglarize the house of the guns, rare coins, stereo equipment, etc. They got caught sooner or later. I don’t think anything was returned, and I am not sure of the final disposition, but they were nailed for what they did. Ok, so I think you may see the angle I’m heading for here.
When I arrived, I was immediately distrusted because of my brother’s previous activity. I was a kid in school and I was being passed off. Funny thing, I never did anything like my brother did. Never the less, I was not trusted from the get go. I wasn’t aware of what my brother had done until later that summer (1971-1972.) When your father told me about it, in his eyes and mind, I was just as responsible because of my relationship as a sibling, and because I was a kid of 17 years. He doesn’t look at people’s hearts, just their hands and what those hands do.
I was doomed from the beginning. Your father never, ever trusted me. I did a couple dumb things while I was there for the year, but certainly not theft, no property damage. I did, however, ask many times why he still claimed he wasn’t your father. (Doesn’t that just freaking sting?) He hated for me to say anything. It was as if your name was acrid in the air of the room. I told him he had nothing to lose. He had been married more than a couple of times in the ten years since the divorce. He had nothing to lose, except for his f*****g pride. We nearly came to blows once when I asked. I mean, he asked me to go outside with him. Such parental love I have never seen before. I always stuck up for you. Every chance I got. I am not fabricating lies here. This is absolute truth.
Well, eventually, I got shipped back to my mother’s house. When I got back, I needed to support myself, and at the time, looking for my scattered family members wasn’t a huge priority. Food in my kitchen, gas in my car to get me to work, clothes on my back and a place to live and keep my things. Those were higher on the list.
Through the years, your father moved to the area he lives in now. Our relationship never got any better, regardless of how many visits I made or how many ‘heart-to-hearts’ we had. There were a bunch, but he has always remained a stiff asshole.
I have fought for you, CSW, again and again, and I will or would if I had to again. You are my blood, not just a person.
One time 15 or so years ago, I visited my mother with my brother and his wife, Michelle and his daughter, Kara, just before she passed. Mother was sick at the time, but kept it from us kids. Seriously sick. Sick enough that we lost her within a year. It was Thanksgiving when we visited for the last time. We sat down with her and brought you up to her in discussion. She balked, but we told her how important you were to us. That you are our sister, that we wanted her to meet her brothers’ mother. It took nearly three hours, tears, anger and laughing to make her relent. We called you. You came over. If you only knew how much that day meant to me. It was astounding to me that we got through. My mother was a hard-headed woman. Loving, but stubborn. It was rewarding to see such a change of direction in her.
Fast forward to now.
When your father got his computer, he had to have been in wonder. He found me before I ever got a Facebook account. Then he found out how to E-Mail and asked me for my address. I gave it to him expecting wonderful things. My inbox was flooded with images of nude women, racist jokes, generally very disagreeable material. I never told him to stop because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and lose him. Well, after a while, it all waned. Eventually, for at least two years, I didn’t hear from him. I called his house dozens of times, left voice mails, I sent E-Mails asking if he was Ok. I never got an answer.
Then, suddenly, I started getting E-Mail from him again. Very spiritually related and religious E-Mail subject matter. Lots of just funny stuff as well. I was elated. My father has claimed atheism since I can remember. I figured he had a life changing experience. ‘Hold on cowboy, not so fast.’ I never found out why the change, but I encouraged him, again and again. I considered he had finally abandoned his cynical nature. The nature I knew he carried since I was a boy. The nature that had probably been part of the blame for divorces. I don’t know the facts, but if it quacks, waddles, swims, it’s a duck. Maybe he had decided to treat me like a real human being, rather than whatever thing he saw me as in his mind.
During all of these changes, through his new web experience and new communication with me after at least 30 years of making me feel like a ball and chain to him, I wanted to ask him why he treated me like shit during my one year of living with him, but I never asked, out of fear, as I said, of losing him, and during the time of these changes in him, we weren’t all that ‘close.’ I wanted to be close to him, but he has a wall that I just couldn’t get through or over.
Well, at the time of your initial questioning of his participation in a DNA test to determine paternity, I had asked ‘the question.’ I was curious as to whether my brother’s activity was the vote against me in the onset of my senior year of high school. Had he already laid the bed of dismissal and denigration I would sleep in? I never got that far before your father started feeling threatened. As you know, he completely withdrew and put me right back in that place he has kept me for 40 years. Right where he can watch, never respond to me and I can’t get to him. His little box for KJ.
Well, on my last birthday many friends on the web and those whom I actually know and see, wished me good deeds and wishes. I felt on top of the world. Then, two days ago, I got an envelope in the mail with your father’s writing on the front. I told my wife, “Maybe he has had a change of heart.” I flipped the envelop over and there on the back it read, “You don’t have a dad so this is from ~younger brother’s~ dad. Many More.” Needless to say, I cried. I knew he was gone for good. I don’t know if its old age, cynicism, or what. He’s gone. If I am going to be a husband beyond even what I think I can be, these distractions have to be left behind. If I don’t I will continue to compare myself to what I see in him, and honestly, at this juncture, I am a much better man than what I have ever seen in your father.
Now, here is my statement. I am so glad for you. Honestly. After 49 years of never knowing who your father is, you have awesome news, and it’s good, it’s honest and it’s real. I know who my father is but he refuses to be a man and give his son that which he deserves. Answers. Just answers. I don’t want to make judgements or dictate anything. I just want answers.
So, I’ve asked you a time or two now to ‘put in a good word for me.’ You have refused, and, now have washed your hands of me and the issue. Why? I don’t know, but after the card the other day from your father and today you telling me what you did when I whined about your father harassing me on Facebook why would I even wonder? I would probably feel the same way, but I wouldn’t turn my back on anyone who needed any help or answers. I would never stop. At this time I have released my hope of getting answers and along with it, my honor for the cause.
So, now you have a relationship with your previously unknown and denying father. Feels great doesn’t it? Really great. It took a scientific forensic test to get him to own up to his deeds. You are amazing. I don’t remember ever seeing or knowing a woman with your determination. Awesome. You’re a champ. Keep up the good work. You are, I am certain, a great wife, a great mother, a help to those around you and in your community. It’s all good.
So, those are the facts. Now you know why I have been determined to get answers, but now, they will go to the grave. I am at a point where being concerned or caring about those answers is now a detriment to my inner spirit and what I can achieve as a husband, an asset to those around me and a good business owner. I have to put the shoes on that move me away from my father. He may be alive, but he is of no good use or meaning to me any longer.
Well, that’s about all there is to say. I am sure I may have left out a tidbit here and there, but it wouldn’t change what I am saying if I remembered and include them. My memory isn’t what it used to be, and as of the beginning of this week, many of the memories I do have need to be buried. It is absolutely time to move ahead. I have sat on this and remained stagnant for way too long. I have done my best to try to convince myself that I am not making the best decision, but I can’t help but think of a quote by the fictional Sherlock Holmes. “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” Regardless of how much I want to get a resolution to this, I have to refuse to go further with this cause. Some questions don’t get answered, some questions don’t need to be answered. Some questions never are heard. Either way, it is no longer important to me. I am, however, surprised at how soon and well he stepped up for you. No mystery as to where I stand. I’m just sorry that I was so annoying to him for so many years when I could have stepped away 40 years ago. I don’t like to annoy people. Had he told me to “Get lost,” I would have done so. I just wanted to be his son.
Have a great Easter and all of the other days as well.