For the first time in I don’t know how many years I actually got to spend Father’s Day with my dad. It’s weird in a way since I’ve had two step-fathers throughout my life and a grandfather who practically raised me, I’ve never really celebrated father’s day. For as long as I can remember I’ve known that I have a different dad than the four siblings I grew up with. It use to really bother me as a child, especially when one of my baby brothers yelled I wasn’t their real sister in anger.
I remember crying for a very long time over that. I know now he didn’t mean it and I’m as close to all four of them as I can be after being kicked out and moving into my grandparents when I was 15. I missed a lot not living with them but I couldn’t survive in that situation any longer. I feel bad for leaving them behind, even after all this time has passed. I feel so old, now. I’ve watched every single one of them graduate from high school and look forward to seeing what else they do with their lives. I love them more than anything and would do anything for them, including my new sister and brother that I’ve found.
Found isn’t really the right word. It makes it sound like they were lost, when in reality since kindergarten my sister from my dad and I have been inseparable. I grew up having sleep overs, crushes, fights, and girl scouts together. Along with many other rights of passage, we have been together. We didn’t know we were sisters, but we always wished we would be.
Last summer I decided I had to know who my father was. I was going through a crisis of identity that I still haven’t quite figured out, but I’ve come to accept it. How could I know who I was if I didn’t know where I came from. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I told myself that I needed to know for health reasons. It was okay if he didn’t want anything to do with me. It was a matter of superficial need, nothing more. We sent in a paternity test a lovely thing you can buy at your local Walgreens. Yes, I’m serious they are right there on the shelves. I didn’t even have to talk to a pharmacist. Three mouth swabs; one for child, mother, and supposed father. That’s the thing about fathers they don’t necessarily know who you are or that you exist. You came out of the mother and they can keep that secret if they wish.
I was never a secret, but I was deprived of the relationship with my father. My mother was too young and was blinded by love for another so I had to be his. Of course I wasn’t. Last summer my father was graced with a 22-year-old daughter. I should say another 22-year-old seeing as how my sister is only about 3 months younger than I am. It’s been strange for both of us I believe. We have 22 years of life to catch up on, to build a relationship that should have been built a long time ago.
This Father’s Day I spent the day with my father. We swam in their pool and visited. I got to see my sister and brother who I haven’t seen in quite a while. My step-mom made us a great dinner. I sugared up my nephew and niece with unfrozen wedding cake. To top it off I got to play with Binx my dad’s new kitten. I think perhaps I get my love of cats from him.
It’s weird my sister and I are so much a like. We were both very mean little girls though neither of us ever got in much trouble. My dad and I have the same crazy eyebrows according to my grams. My step mom and I are into a lot of the same things such as polka dots which she always dressed my sister in but she hated them. And my older brother got to aggravate me as a child when my sister and I had sleepovers. When we are all together I think of how things could have been if I had spent equal time with them growing up as I had with my mother’s side of the family. I feel robbed in a lot of ways of that connection.
I was deprived of that part of my life for 22 years I won’t let it happen any longer. It will no longer define who I am, even if I’m not sure who that is yet.