I met my “Dad” again at around 15 years old. It had been like 10 years since he gave up his visitation rights to R and I, and stopped showing up every so often to drive us down to his house in the next city for the weekend. He also stopped paying child support for the two of us after my mom got remarried. Apparently him also getting remarried and having two other kids meant for some reason he didn’t have to pay any more. Lame, I know. But in any case, after reconnecting with my sister K, my fathers side of the family also reached out and wanted to build a relationship with R and I. I didn’t have strong feelings either way, and I was willing to give them a chance. My Aunt (my Dad’s sister) was the first to reach out. First by adding me on Facebook, and then emails every once in a while, until finally we started chatting (very rarely) on the phone. As the relationship grew (ever so slightly), and I got to know more about a family I knew existed, but didn’t know anything about. I began to feel more comfortable with the idea of spending more time with them, so my mom and I made a trip out to BC (again, while I’m stuck living in crappy Alberta) to meet more of my long-lost family.
When I initially saw my Aunty A, I’ll be real for the first time, I honestly felt like I belonged in a family. Both R and N are much shorter and smaller in general than myself. At 5’9, I’m also at least a solid 2-3 inches taller than my mom/sisters and I’m the only one in my family with curly hair. I mean not just a little wave if I don’t straighten it in the morning, I mean full-out curl, while everyone else, yep you guessed it, straight. Well maybe a slight wave. But also personality wise, my family is way out there, and while I’m not necessarily a stick in the mud, I do think everything through and weigh all my options instead of running around like a bull in a china shop like they tend to do. I’d rather make the calculated decision instead of fly by the seat of my pants… but that’s just me. When I saw my Aunty A at the airport in Victoria, it was like a lightbulb went off. I felt like this is where I came from. This is where my roots belonged. I felt like I was no longer a misfit, but I had connections and to be honest, I felt for the first time like I was the right “fit” for the family. I was no longer the black sheep as far as looks go. It was like hugging myself in a mirror. Sitting with them in their living room was so peaceful, compared to my home growing up where life was so chaotic, with constant yelling and arguments. Yeah the decor was outdated but the pace of life was just so me. I felt like I had missed out on a huge opportunity in life. Growing up how I did, was stressful but, sitting in my newly discovered grandparents house with my new Aunt, I felt calm, and like I belonged.
My mom and I spent a few days in Victoria touring around and enjoying the sights. My Grandparents house literally shared a backyard fence with the Craigdarroch Castle, which we of course toured, but I also had the amazing view of it every night before bed. Once we had done all the touristy things, like visit the harbour and take horse-drawn carriage rides through the parks, we finished up our visit with grand promises to keep in touch.
Which we did, some what (again, this is not my strong point at all). I went back one summer for a week alone and my Aunt arranged a few day camp type things to keep me busy. Kayaking in the bay (SO MUCH FUN!) and rock climbing (eh) among other things. The trip was a success, and I had a chance to learn a lot more about my heritage and how that side of my family also thinks my biological dad is a douche, so that was a bonding moment lol. But the moment when I actually got to meet him, came soon after, when my Grandpa passed away and I made the conscious decision to go to his funeral, knowing my ‘Dad” would be there.
My Grandpa and I shared a special bond and even though I had really just been getting to know him, we had instantly connected. He was a very kind, thoughtful smart man. When you looked at him you could see wisdom in his eyes. He had been through so much in his life, but had not let it get him down. He is 100% Japanese, making me 1/4, and his calm demeanour is something I aspire to. Nothing rattled him, and that’s how I try to live.
Anyways, when he passed, I wanted to be there for the funeral, so my parents agreed to send me to Victoria on my own (R wasn’t interested in getting involved, and my mom didn’t want to “intrude” on this family gathering). It was a little overwhelming at first, meeting a bunch of Great Aunt’s and Uncle’s for the first time…No cousins though… since my dads kids didn’t feel the need to attend the funeral of the granddad they’d known their whole life. Whatever. But I went, and I’m glad I did because I met my Great Aunt Yayeko whom I was named after (middle name) and everyone got to see me after so many years.
But when it finally came down to “meeting” my dad… that was so pathetic. He avoided me the whole afternoon, until the memorial was winding down and I knew my time was running out so I made an effort to go and talk to him.
Our entire conversation lasted less than 20 minutes and was pretty boring. He spent most of the time talking about his other wife and two kids. Turns out I have ANOTHER younger sister and a brother. And the worst part? My sisters name is sooooo damn close to mine it’s like common. All the names in the world and you had to name her something that the substitute teacher would call me because it’s so similar? Annoying. But the worst part… at the end of our “bonding” he suggested that we stay in touch. Sure I thought at first, that would be nice. Until he pulled out his business card and handed it to me and said “My numbers on here”… Umm pardon me? You’re a grown man, and you can’t even be bothered to ask me for my info? You don’t care enough to want to know how to get in touch with your daughter? Your going to leave the future of our relationship in my teenage hands? Fine. Do that. But I’m gonna throw it in the trash, because apparently that’s how much you value it.
Needless to say, I was so pissed off. And that business card is in some garbage can where it belongs. Along with all my feelings for my sperm donor.
-Beck/I Just Started Hating Some People Today-