I’ve never really known my father. Literally. Not in the figurative sense that is common among people, to describe a person they should know but find they don’t. He’s been out of my life for most of it. No, all of it.
My mother and he were together for some period before I was conceived, but sometime thereafter they split and I am not sure why. Growing up I knew his name, that he came by [unwelcome] once when I was was about 2 years old, and that he lived in the town next to ours. Oh and that he had been in jail [after he and my mother were together] and that he had 2 daughters now [or so I was told].
And really, that was enough. I didn’t need anything more. I have never felt that I needed him, wanted to know him, wanted to find him, or anything of the sort. He existed. He may have helped in my creation, but he was not around and I was not concerned. People, if they knew, would ask about whether I wanted to contact him, etc., but I did not.
Despite all that, I will say, I always wondered who he was and what happened between he and my mother.
When my mother passed away last year [still seems surreal], she left documents that I never knew existed. Letters. Court documents. Diaries. A Valentine from ::right:: before my conception. There was a specific pile of correspondence that I found while cleaning out my mother’s house that I took with me [and my husband] to a bar and read. It was unfathomable. In a completely unexpected way.
If you knew the level of communication about my father in my house, then you would understand that my mother’s correspondence with him over the years would seem completely unexpected.
I have only read a fraction of what exists, even though not much exists, but it is still much more than I ::ever:: thought existed.
While I never wanted to find him, I have wondered about him. How could my mother be with someone who ultimately went to jail? How could he exist in a city next to mine? Who was he? What did he look like? Who was this other family he created?
Through the years, I cannot say I never googled him. I did. I wondered who this man was, but not in the way that means I wanted to know him. I just wanted to see him. Seemed a feasible thing to do in this internet age.
Unfortunately [?], I never found him.
Until my mother’s death. There were some additional clues. It still was not immediate, it was several months of casual google searches that one afternoon led me square to the face of my father.
His face. At his business. In my hometown. A town adjacent to his. A business right up the road from where I grew up. Right there. Completely unexpected. Living a life that was so much better than what I grew up in, or at least somewhat better, maybe.
I didn’t know what to expect upon finding him, but my finding him led to feelings I never imagined…
[to be continued, at some point].