As I said before, it's been a pretty interesting year. And if I'm going to tell you all the interesting bits, I may as well start with the biggie. For this one, you may need to grab a cup of coffee and sit back. There's a fair bit of back story. So much so, I'm not 100% sure where to begin. So you'll have to excuse me if this post jumps around a little bit.
Say what you will about Facebook, but it's one hell of a place to do research. Love it or hate it, it has more information about any of us than we're likely comfortable with. Sometimes that's scary, but sometimes it's downright useful.
A number of years ago my wife was about to get a job in the Clark County School District. Since we knew that some of my biological father's family had at one time lived in the area, she decided it would be a good idea to do a little research to figure out if there was the possibility of running into somebody from my family. From the research it didn't appear that she was likely to run into anybody, but, you know how Facebook likes to show you people who you may know and how many friends you have in common. Well, it just so happens that with a little more digging, we found out that a person who we have confirmed to be my half-sister also happens to be friends with our ex-roommate from when we lived in southern California.
Small Fucking World, eh?
We made an attempt to reach out, but they weren't ready to make a connection. We respected their privacy and pretty much dropped it at that point.
Oh, don't worry. We haven't even got to the fun part yet.
I don't know how many of you know this, but when I turned 18, I changed my name. I dropped my middle name and kept just a middle initial, and I changed my last name entirely. A big reason for this was my mom's separation from my biological father when I was pretty young.
Over the years, my sister had made a handful of attempts to reach out to our biological father without any success. With the advent of Facebook, this research became easier. We found the profile for the person we knew was our father and I think we both issued friend requests. The main difference was, my sister was really interested in asking a bunch of questions in hopes of getting some closure. For me, to be quite honest, so much time had passed, I had already gone through all the steps I needed to process. Anger and resentment being the two most powerful. But finally, I settled on a new one; apathy. I simply didn't care. So much time had passed, that this man relly had no bearing on my life whatsoever. There were no answers I needed from him that would help me sleep better at night. As the Gotye song says, “Now you're just somebody that I used to know.”
But then, February
I got a message from him on Facebook in early February. It said something to the effect of “I've been chatting with your sister and I'm curious if it would be ok to chat with you, too.” I agreed and over the next several days we exchanged messages on a pretty regular basis. We kept the talk pretty light. “How's the family”, “What are you up to these days”, etc. I held no animosity, so it made the conversation go pretty easily. He asked about our kid and work and I did the same.
Over the past few months, we have continued to chat via text, and at has been nice to reconnect. We spoke briefly about the idea of meeting in person, but since we live a few thousand miles away, that's probably not something that's going to happen anytime soon. And honestly, I don't know that I'm ready for it just yet.
He has apologized a few times for not knowing more about my life. In my typical sarcastic sense of humor, I considered sending him a link to my blog and letting him catch up on the past 10 years or so. But I wasn't sure how the sarcasm would travel via text. But hey, it made me laugh.
This is somebody who was obviously a very big part of my childhood. But it's also somebody I haven't spoken to in roughly 35 years. I can tell you that I'm still trying to process it all and figure out how I feel about it. I can say for sure that I'm glad he made the effort to reach out (and continues to do so every couple weeks). Where this will all go moving forward, I still don't know.
To be honest, my biggest hope is that my sister finds the closure she's been seeking for so many years.
I realized the next morning after posting this article that I left out one of the most interesting bits. So I feel that this post would not be complete without me telling you this last little bit.
When Chris and I first moved to Las Vegas, we lived up near the location where Green Valley Ranch casino would eventually be built. We lived there for a year and then moved back to LA for two years before moving to our current home in Henderson. As I mentioned, we knew that some of that side of the family lived in Henderson, and as we started talking, one of the first things that came up was the dates and locations for when we were living here. As it turns out, during that first year that we moved here, while we were living up near Green Valley, so was my biological father. So close, in fact, we likely lived less than 5 minutes apart from each other. The chances that we ran in to each other at the local grocery store are extremely high.
So again I say… small small world.