I got a call from my Aunt this afternoon. The first thing she said was that she was sorry. I asked her for what? And she said, 'You don't know?' To which I replied, know what? 'Your father passed away this morning.'
The person she is referring to is my biological father. The one that once he found out I was gay wrote me off. I didn't exist. My sister had tried to mend that fence a little over a year ago but, it didn't work. He wouldn't even look me in the eye. I was pretty done after that. I even told her so. It didn't take long before our relationship began to deteriorate as well. Fast forwarding a through a long story here, let me just say it is terribly hard on siblings when one is adopted and sees a parent in a different light than the one that got to stay sees that same parent.
I was 16 when I met my birth parents. I fell in love with my mother. My father I actually thought was cool. He was thin, tan, sporty dresser, drove a Camaro and had a thick spanish accent. Very sexy. But, getting close to him was a whole nother story. He mumbled alot, seemed moody, distant and always one step away from a fight. I never liked the way he spoke to my mother. But to his advantage, as an alcoholic he was just the opposite. When he was drunk he was the nicest person you ever wanted to meet. He would hand over the keys to his prized car in a nano second if he thought you wanted to take it for a joy ride. He would pull out wads of cash and hand you a couple of twenties. Always laughing. And dance? The man loved to dance. He also loved to play poker, dominoes and bet on the dogs. Which is why he lost a lot of money. It was so bad that my mother's house was in my brother's name up until she passed away so that my father couldn't gamble it away. Still we actually had a decent relationship for about 22 years. Then he found out I was gay. And from then on, I no longer existed.
So now here I sit. I have no idea what I should be feeling. And I can't say that I can describe what I am feeling. I like to think that if my Aunt hadn't called, I wouldn't know. Therefore I wouldn't have to deal. Put of curiosity, I decided to get in my car and drive over to his house to see who was there. I only made it about three houses down from my house before I was actually blocked in the street by a large red pickup which pulled caddy cornered across the street so I couldn't pass. As it inched by me, I saw it was my nephew in law. I rolled down my window and said, "I know why you've come. To tell me that my father passed away." Back at my house, my neice who had passed me in the vehicle ahead of his was waiting in the driveway. So here I had planned to observe his passing from the outside looking in and not communicate and now I was forced to do just the opposite. I faced them for an hour and a half listening to details that I really didn't want to hear. Details about what happened. Details about his last moments. I shouldn't be upset by any of this. I mean, I wrote him off. I'm surprised that it bothers me to the extent that it does. The wake is at 5pm today for the family. I really don't want to go but, I know I will. As my lesbian Aunt put it; "Go! Show them you have class. Pay the respect that you never got."