You’re thinking I missed it. It was last month.
A couple of things happened this year around Father’s Day.
The week before Father’s Day, we came to the end of the probate process for my Adopted Father’s estate.
My family moved for the second time in eight months. This time including the stress of a closing.
On Father’s day, I was cleaning the empty apartment. I also read the first message from my oldest sister. She sent never before seen pictures of our dad, as she called him. It took my breath away. I sat on the toilet seat in my empty apartment and cried. Happy, heartbroken tears.
In the week after Father’s Day, I celebrated a milestone birthday. I also had my gas service turned off because of a leak. I got it fixed and was told my AC unit was freezing over, that was also the day the clothes washer started leaking.
The Friday after Father’s Day my almost youngest adopted sister and her kids came to visit. It was wonderful to have her here. I think North Dakota left a very favorable impression on her what with our fat raindrops, big beautiful sky, and bazillion shades of green. Also, the cousins adore each other and get along – 99% of the time, see this video in my previous post.
Father’s Day hasn’t been out of my thoughts this whole time. The joy of learning about my birth father from the kids that grew up with him battles constantly with the angst willed to me and my adopted siblings by the man who fostered us.
I posted this on my private Facebook Page for Mother’s Day.
This Mother’s Day is a little bittersweet. I finally know them both, but don’t have either.
For Vicky Sue, the beautiful girl who gave up so much, thank you for choosing life for me and hoping for brighter days. Thank you for not leaving me alone; he is a beautiful miracle in my life. You might smile if you knew it was your eldest granddaughter who was the final piece of the puzzle. She will only ever be a joy to me. I think you’d love the other three as well.
******, you were right about so many things (not everything 😜) thank you for doing the dirty work. Thank you for not giving up until you got what you wanted, all seven and then some. I love you, I miss you.
Happy Mother’s Day.
I could have posted on Father’s Day, I had the evening but not the words.
My two dads were born only six months apart. One in Chicago and one in Idaho. One was an only child, the other was raised like one, his next older sibling more than 12 years older than he. Basically, two very spoiled boys. They both had hazel green eyes and dark hair. They even used the same aftershave, Aqua Velva or Old Spice. The more I learn, the more similar they become. That said, there are a few glaring differences.
John never knew about me.
Dad was on a field trip when he heard about my birth.
John was married four times.
My dad and mom were married to each other for almost sixty years.
Though he didn’t live with his kids, the pictures, stories, and memories of John are littered with laughter and love, camping trips, boating, swimming and bike rides.
When my siblings and I reminisce it’s always about the work. My dad was not a fan of leisure in any form, at home. We worked together; potting trees, digging trees, weeding the garden, trimming trees, waiting on customers, potting in the greenhouses, watering the greenhouses, watering the potted trees, moving pipe, mowing, harvesting, canning food, gathering eggs, feeding pigs, feeding chickens, feeding lambs, feeding geese, feeding turkeys. When we did play, it was outside. The boys chased us with grasshoppers, threw gravel filled mud balls at us. When we screamed loud enough mom sent the boys to work with dad. I say, at home, because at his work as a geology teacher at a junior college he built himself quite a leisure schedule. He was known for his epic field trips into the surrounding National Parks and Forests. His classes frequently had waiting lists. At home, his wife and children also had waiting lists, of chores.
Though John divorced the mother of his children, he made himself a fixture in their lives and the lives of his grandchildren.
Two Christmases ago, after my mom had died, we got a huge box from my dad and his newly minted second wife. When we opened it on Christmas, there was a princess themed fleece blanket. The note sitting atop it said, For one of the girls. The youngest (10) claimed it and pulled it out of the box. Next was a Princess Sophia fleece blanket with the note, For the other one. The twelve-year-old was stuck with it. Under it was an Indian motif fleece blanket labeled, For Jacob. Well, one out of three isn’t too bad, right?
John’s third wife is still in friendly contact with his children, and their mom.
Dad’s second wife is busily stripping and selling off his and mom’s things from their retirement home because “He told me everything is mine to do with what I want.”
John died in his sleep at his daughter’s house. Many tears were shed.
Dad died on the toilet of his retirement home. No one knows for sure when he died, he was found after midnight when his second wife’s son-in-law was sent to find him. I wonder if anyone cried? I imagine so, their meal ticket had just been punched for the last time. Now they were going to have to start paying for everything except the house out of their own pockets. It was probably buckets of tears when they realized.
So what do I say on Father’s Day? My Facebook post.
I didn’t post on Father’s Day this year, it felt too complicated. However, before June ends, I want to recognize and honor my birth father.
John was born in Chicago and grew up in Downey, California. He was a beloved father, a charming husband a few times over, and a playful grandfather. He died far too young but securely held in the love of his children.
He loved the ocean, boating, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving. His favorite day trip was out to Catalina Island. He was charismatic, funny, handsome and a dynamite salesman. I’ve been told he could sell you the pants you were already wearing. He had wit and a way with the spoken word. He got himself out of many a rough patch with that silver tongue. He could make you feel you were the smartest, funniest, most important, most loved person in the world.
It is believed that he knew nothing about me. Didn’t know I was born or adopted or that I existed. Even so, he has blessed me. Happy Father’s Day, John.