I got a call the other night (more like morning; it was 1 am) from my bio-dad. You may recall that I only found him about a month ago; maybe it was a little longer than that. He was back in the hospital. He's been in and out for a while now with kidney failure, and a fall down the stairs. His heart stopped while he was in the hospital and they had to do emergency surgery.
That being said, I know that school is starting next week but the boys and I are boarding a plane for California tomorrow morning before dawn and flying out to see him while he's still around to see. We've never met him and although I certainly shouldn't be spending this type of money right now, I know that I'll regret it if we never get to meet him now that I finally know where he is.
I'm not sure what I'm walking into. He seems desperate to have a real father-daughter relationship with me, but I literally don't know him so I just can't make myself feel what I can sense he hopes I feel. That really needs to come with time and although I know that we probably don't have that sort of time, I still can't push it. I know myself.
Another reason is that on our last conversation, he told me that family members were less than thrilled about me entering his life. That dredged up lots of old, painful memories about the family I did know; the ones who rejected me because of my race and made it very clear to a small child that she wasn't loved or accepted. I still carry those scars with me to this day and it's part of who I am. I have built a family for myself and moved all the way across the country so that my children would be loved and supported by the very people who are expected to love and support them. My mother is the only thing left for me in California, so I don't usually go back there. It's too expensive, too painful, too depressing. But this is something that I have to do.
I have spoken to his fiance and she sounded less than welcoming. She also wasn't very helpful when I asked if they could let the family know I was coming to town because I'd like to meet them. She basically said that it was up to my aunts and uncles and that "they're grown". Not sure what I'm supposed to take from that except that she's not planning to lift a finger to help me find these people. How can I be expected to ask them to meet me when I don't know who they are and how to reach them?..
So. I'm taking Dante with me to the hospital to meet my father and I'm going to feel it out. If they are anything other than happy to see me after all the trouble and expense I've gone through to go out there, I'll walk away and not look back. I know this sounds harsh, but I have to protect my emotional health so I can be whole for my family and meet my personal obligations. I won't let family drama pull me down any more. I shook it off years ago when I boarded a plane to the farthest place I could get from little Marysville, CA without leaving the continental US. I can already feel the wall. It's already up and I'm having to go through the motions because I don't want to look back on my life with regret one day for not taking the chance to look this man in the face, or to let my children see where they come from. I'm going to do this, but I'm going to take advantage of the time I have and spend it with my mom, who hasn't seen my boys in six years. And I'm going to try to meet up with some of my adult cousins. And I'm going to knit. Boy am I going to knit. I'm looking for a pattern right now. It's time to start my next sweater; I'm thinking about this one.
Time to go pack the yarn!