Yesterday I gave my two cents about family and after I wrote it I realized that it wasn’t quite what I set out to write about. Sometimes this just happens J. Those of you who know me or have been reading regularly know that I lost my Dad recently and how I’m still struggling without him, but what many of you don’t know is that something wonderful has happened out of that loss. I lost my Dad but I gained a brother. Now I realize this needs some explanation so please bear with me for a moment or two.
When I was 13 years old I saw a man standing on the front steps of my house and he looked just like my Dad. I asked my parents who he was and I got the big blow off. My parents were never ones for being open and forthcoming so this wasn’t a surprise to me, but I persisted for weeks. I nagged both of them day in and day out until my Mother finally couldn’t take it anymore and told me that his name was Allan and he was my father’s son from his first marriage. WTF!!?? Well that’s not exactly what I thought but close enough. That was all the information I could get out of them and I was told to “just let it go”. How is a person supposed to let something like that go? Gradually - is the only answer to that question. Eventually I gave up asking and gave up thinking about him.
Some years later Allan, his wife and their children were at my parent’s house and I got to meet everyone which just started the whole questioning over again. Answers were never forth coming. I got a comment here, an answer there but never the truth or the whole story. I never understood the secrecy – in fact I still don’t.
The night of my father’s first stroke, when it became apparent that it was very serious and he might die my mother decided to tell me that she was going to call Allan. To my knowledge there had been no contact in 20 plus years and at first it seemed weird, and more than a little upsetting. My father was dying and I had to deal with an unknown brother. I didn’t know what to do or what to think, and yes; in that moment it was all about me. However I also knew that it was the right thing to do so I told my mother that she should go ahead and call. All too soon there was my long lost half brother and his wife sitting in the family waiting room with us. How many ways can you say awkward?? Looking back I know that it was awkward and uncomfortable for them too; but fittingly my wonderful sister-in-laws name is Grace and I say fittingly because they were incredibly gracious and understanding that evening and the many more that followed.
Part 2 – coming tomorrow.....