So the story continues! Last off my youngest son and I had landed in Chicago, Illinois and were preparing to de-plane and meet my birth Father for the first time in my life.
It was July of 2001 and at forty years old it had sure been a long wait for this moment. I had prayed so hard, saying my strongest prayers for this moment to arrive. When it was time to walk out into the waiting area where I was sure my Dad and family would be waiting it was then I started to feel wobbly in my legs, nervous, scared, excited and a whole range of different emotions. I started to look around at all the people waiting for their friends and loved ones in that waiting area, a sea of faces with different expressions and then I spotted him, I knew it was him, it had to be him because I saw myself, my likeness in his face. He smiled and waved and away we went directly and straight to him, his wife and my new found sister. They stood there with a sense of happiness. My sister was the one who really hugged my son and I. My Father hugged me too but there was a sort of distance and inability to really truly embrace me. His wife was the same. I cried so much but felt at that moment suddenly that I needed to contain myself because I felt it was inappropriate to unleash all my emotions. I had hoped my Dad would cry with me and I would feel the love and warmth coming from his heart outwards to mine but sadly it wasn't that way at all. So, I stuffed it all in and got ahold of myself. My Father and his wife seemed happy to meet us but I felt the reservations of their feelings and it was somewhat uncomfortable and confusing to me. My Sister and I really hit if off, I loved her from the moment I met her. She was warm and accepting of me and my son and for that I was deeply grateful as acceptance was crucial for us at that moment in time. We had planned to spend 5 days with them and as we drove to their home I was praying hard and hoping this had been a good decision. I think I was more worried about my son, that he would not suffer any type of emotional abuse or weirdness at the hands of these people that really were strangers to us at that point.
The week rolled on and they seemed content to take us out to eat at some of their favorite places. They gave us a tour of their little town and even drove us up to Princeton so we could learn about the history of our family and the story of my Father's birth and the hardships his Mother, my GrandMother, had faced in giving birth to him. He was born out of wedlock and at that time it was very shameful to a woman and therefore there were labels attached to a pregnant woman without a husband. My Great Grandparents, because of the shame involved, made sure my GrandMother was hidden from the public as if she didn't exist. It was all very sad to learn. Concerning those five days, spending time trying to get to know my Father, his wife and sister was overall strained and difficult. There were a few moments of what seemed to be acceptance maybe, some laughter and light heartedness but It became apparent to me that my Father and new found step Mother were staying guarded throughout. My Sister, bless her heart, was without a doubt the apple of their eyes. Through no fault of her own, it seemed these parents needed me to know through certain conversations and the show of their great wealth that they took care of my sisters needs no matter the cost. Because I am a very understanding person, in spite of the pain I felt, I accepted that they loved my sister and she was what mattered to them. It became apparent over just those few days that my son and I were some kind of side show for them, a way to finally put to rest their curiosity about me. Maybe they needed to do some comparing? to see if I measured up to the one they raised.
I will never know and understand completely but I have a pretty good idea what our visit meant to them and I truly believe it didn't mean as much to them as it did to myself. At the end of our visit they took us, my son and I, back to the airport and we said our farewells promising to stay in touch. I didn't cry and I felt a sense of deep relief knowing we'd be home soon. There was so much to think about and I was exhausted in every way from the experience. I wasn't convinced yet that these relationships would be healthy for me or my children. As we waited to board the plane it was announced that our flight had been canceled. It was such a blow and a disappointment as I just wanted to go home and to call my Mom too. Over a few hours of waiting for another plane it was relayed to me that the flight once again was canceled and we would need to wait until the morning but they did guarantee we would be flying out first thing in the morning.
I made the decision to call my Dad and let him know the status of our situation. After telling him all the details I asked him if he could please come back and pick us up and then take us back to the airport in the morning. He quickly responded saying no, he would not pick us up. He said that when he was in the military he'd spent many nights in airports so we would need to do the same. Unbelievable and completely unexpected response. Here I was with my ten year old son, no money, no where to go but sit through the night, stay awake so no one would steal our stuff. My little son broke out in tears and then so did I. We sat there crying our eyes out just holding onto each other. I will never forget this pain and the feeling of abandonment after hoping and praying so hard that my Father would be a night in shining armour to me and my children. What a dreamer I was then, so naive. That's when I knew for sure, without a doubt, that what I was feeling, that inner knowing about how they were feeling toward us was true and correct. It was a powerful lesson in knowing how to listen to that inner voice and trust my own intuitions. The time of trusting too much and giving my heart away so easily had finally come to an end ... I grew up even more through that trauma and understood my real strength as a woman and as a survivor of many previous trauma's. If I could live my entire life of forty years without him then I could definitely move forward without him now. I left a small space in my heart for a possible relationship with my Sister.
I recently wrote a song for my newest album called "Fatherless Child" It touches on the pain of living without a Father, the struggles of my Mother to care for me on her own. Since Mom went on to marry other abusive and irresponsible men the song talks about a Father knocking her down in a drunken rage which also did happen on many occasions in front of my young eyes. I've included the song below. My hope and prayer is always, through my music and blogging, to give an honest and open account of my experiences that I might help someone else who is struggling and hurting to know that they are not alone. Every one of us has been touched by some kind of traumatic episode or episodes in our lives. We can rise, we can heal and it's by our choices. If we're going to be all that we can be and fulfill our purpose here on earth then I believe we must choose to rise and to walk a path that will strengthen and confirm our worthiness. Some need counsel to fully understand what happened to them, some need religion to assess the damages but however you find your way there should be no judgement just simply find your way to your best life and try to forgive those that weren't strong enough to do right by you. I also believe that my Creator was paving the way for my soul mate, Fabian. I'm still leading up to that lol! I had so many things in my life that first needed healing and closure and it was manifesting big time. I look back now and see it all so clearly.
You deserve happiness and joy and you are worthy!