Thursday, July 21, 2011
Consider this blogging therapy. I need to get this out of my head because itís been banging around & driving me crazy since Monday.
Thatís the day that I found out my biological father had died.
I grew up in a typical, slightly dysfunctional (right, Lydia?) family with my mom, dad (Dennis) and sister. I never thought much of it when people said that I looked like my mom & my sister took after my dad. In high school, we did a blood type testing lab. My parents both had O+; mine test result was B+. If you remember correctly from biology class, thatís not possible. My teacher (perhaps politely,) Mom & I all shrugged it off as a cheap, insensitive, perhaps faulty test.
Fast forward about four years, when I did a similar lab in a college biology class. More sophisticated test, same results. This time I couldnít ignore the results. When I confronted Mom with the news, she reluctantly admitted that she had an affair with a married coworker when she & my dad Dennis were on a break. Dennis found out that Mom was pregnant with me and, being the good man that he is, wanted to marry her. My biological father never knew about me.
Mom gave me my biological fatherís name & a way to reach one of his family members, and after several months I decided to contact him. John, my biological father, was surprised but very receptive. I met him, his current wife, his ex-wife (the one he cheated on) and over half of my 8 ďnewĒ brothers & sisters a few weeks later. Some things made much more sense after I met him; I shared some of the same facial features, personality traits & mannerisms with them.
We developed a tenuous but decent relationship. John told me he loved me from the very beginning and included me in a few family functions. I became pretty close with two of my brothers & sisters, Bill & Nikki. But things were awkward. Some of the siblings were less accepting of me than others. My dad Dennis was hurt that I had contacted John and felt that I was trying to replace him. After a while, my biological father & I seemed to let the years, miles and difficulties separate us and we lost contact.
Over the weekend, as I was sorting & decluttering the house for sale, I found a graduation card from John and decided to search for him on the internet. I had often thought of doing this, but he had health issues and I was a little apprehensive about what I would find. My worst fears were confirmed when I found his obituary. He passed away a while ago (Iím not going to say how long ago because it upsets me.) I was not listed as one of his children.
I have such mixed feelings. I am sad that my biological father is dead, but not nearly as sad as I will be when my dad Dennis or my stepdad Jerry pass away. I feel guilty that we didnít keep in touch, despite what others thought. Iím upset that none of my siblings contacted me when he passed away. Iím hurt that I, the bastard child of an affair or not, was not included as one of his children. I feel like Iím grieving the loss of not only the loss of my biological father but eight brothers & sisters as well. I havenít told many people, but most werenít sure how to respond. I canít blame them; itís such an odd situation that Iím not sure how to deal with it either. Iím hoping blogging & a little more time will help.