Reunions

So a lot’s happened on the family front since last week

I spent about two and a half hours on the phone with my uncle Friday night, followed by a good four hours with my aunt on Saturday and another hour(ish) on Sunday. Mostly we were catching up with each other on what’s happened in the last thirty-four or so years, and each other’s families and children. I can’t remember what day or hour into conversation that my aunt and I talked about my biological father and where to go with all that.. but she wanted to let me know that he was going to be in PHX over Thanksgiving, thinking it might be more comfortable for me, if he and I were to meet, if it were on my turf, so to speak. She’s a smart lady, my auntie.

So I asked the question that had been on my mind since the first contact. Since she had asked if it was OK with me to tell him she’d found me, should I assume that this is information he wants to know? He wasn’t the one to come looking for me, and he hadn’t had any more children, so I couldn’t help wondering if this was something he’d welcome. So my aunt and I had a pretty candid discussion, and she admitted that he’s not one who deals well with emotion, and tends to withdraw from any kind of intense emotional situations. Based on the things I mentioned already and just kinda putting together this and that from various conversations, I’d already gotten that impression. My aunt had suggested telling him and giving him my number and letting him take the next step. I told her I was OK with her telling him that she’d gotten in touch with me, but asked her to leave it at that.  If he asked about or expressed an interest in contacting me, she could give him my number, but I didn’t want him to feel at all pressured by any expectations, hers or mine, real or perceived.I have a dad, and he’s awesome. I’d like to get to know [bio dad], but I don’t want anything that he can’t give freely.

Sunday I got a voice mail from my aunt, to let me know she’d spoken with [bio dad]. She was pretty excited, because she’d expected kind of a non-reaction at first, but that he’d been very interested, asked a lot of questions, and seemed almost excited. She said she thought he’d call, but wasn’t sure when. I was thinking in my mind, that he’d probably call the following weekend. I know it took me from Tuesday to Friday night to really get to a point where I could wrap my head around everything to string two sentences together and have anything resembling an intelligent conversation.

But [bio dad] surprised us both, and called me the next evening. He was visibly audibly nervous and clearly way out of his comfort zone. He introduced himself by name and I said hello… he asked how I was, I asked how he was, and he laughed shakily and said,

Scared.

It made the conversation a lot easier for me, that’s for sure. Shoot, I was just incredibly nervous. But I understood how he must have felt. 

He told me right up front at the beginning of the conversation that he’s not real good with people or emotions, and if he said or did anything that I felt crossed the line or upset me to please let him know. I told him that was fair, and not to worry… I’m not one who’s known for holding back her feelings. If you make me mad, there will be no doubt in your mind.

We had a nice conversation, though there was a real awkward moment when he asked me if my children were mulatto, and I had to explain that was a socially acceptable term about a hundred years ago, but today most people consider it a racial slur. He took that pretty well, didn’t get defensive and go for a derail, reworded his question, and then told me that a couple of the other grandkids in the family are multiracial. I got the feeling he was trying to make a connection with me somehow. It was a little misguided, but not ill intentioned, and I don’t think I’ve ever had the “that thing you said was racist” conversation go so well.

He brought up that he would be in PHX for the holiday, and asked if he could buy me a cup of coffee, and I told him I’d really like that. So in addition to that reunion, my uncle Joe and his wife Debbie are driving up on Saturday to have breakfast with us and spend some time together. Two weeks after that, coincidentally my birthday weekend, my aunt Joyce will be in town and we’ll be getting together for dinner.

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  1. Eiball
    November 25, 2009 at 7:09 AM

    I’m really happy for you, Cyn. I never knew my own father, dead since 1980, and I honestly envy you this opportunity. Blessings on this new exciting journey.

  2. Christie
    November 25, 2009 at 9:43 AM

    Wow – Congratulations, I am happy for you!!

  3. Arria
    November 25, 2009 at 6:53 PM

    That is cool.

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