What a bummer of a night. I just found out my dad died and I don't even know when it happened.
I don't know if you all remember me talking about finding my father about four years ago. I had a cousin on my father's side of the family contact me after doing a family tree sort of thing. He had found me online and wanted to let me know he knew where my father was.
Yes, it was quite a shock, but this was something I've always wanted to know. As the story went, he left me when I was just born and according to my mother's side of the family, he was no good and I was brainwashed into thinking he was the scum of the earth.
All my life, I grew up without a daddy. I don't know if you know how that feels but it hurts.
So this cousin finds me and starts telling me about family members I didn't know I had - aunts, uncles, cousins. Then, his wife's mother (who ended up being my Aunt Carmen) finds out they've located me and calls me on the telephone, wanting to meet me.
So I drive to Wachapreague (where she lived) and find out all I could ever know about my father and the family I was deprived of seeing simply because the two families couldn't stand one another.
It's been a long time it seems since that day I sat and chatted with Aunt Carmen. Then, tonight, I get an email from yet another cousin (by marriage) who tells me he has died. She didn't email me really to tell me that, but it was something that she remembered in her childhood that might be of some importance to me now.
She told me that when my dad and she and the other kids I suppose were sitting there watching The Wizard of Oz, he got visibly upset. When they asked him what was wrong, he said he couldn't talk about it. And she was thinking he was thinking...of me.
I have been boohooing on the deck all night long. See, the thing is, I found my father, Carmen sent me a couple of pictures of him so at least I could see what he looked like, but...I never got to meet him. I tried, well Carmen tried in my behalf, and his wife wouldn't let him see me. She said he was in too bad health for that to happen and I suppose she thought he couldn't take the stress from it.
But...I can imagine it happening. I can imagine sitting by the side of his bed and looking at the eyes that looks like my own and saying, "Hi Daddy."
Okay, so I live in a dream world.
It didn't happen and that's the way it goes.
But I do want to say something. A child, no matter what feelings the parents or the parents' families have for one another, has the right to know both their mother and their father and to deny that child that right is child abuse in the highest form.