Lies Of Omission – Part 56

Is it possible to be pissed at a man long since dead?  Gawd, I never knew him and in just two short paragraphs, I despise him almost as much as Jason.  No, more than Jason.  Jason may have beat me and raped me and destroyed me, but damn it, reading my father talk about his wife – my mother – this way, and knowing how he left us just horrifies me and angers me, and makes me so glad that I never knew him.

I know I ought to love her, but there’s only so many times my sister can ruin her life and I cannot get pulled down and have her continue to destroy mine, too.

Wait a minute.

I read the line again.  And a third time.  I even start at the beginning and read every syllable, every individual letter on the page until I reach, ‘sister.’

I am dizzy.  My arms are limp. I stare shocked and furious.

“Dad and Mom were brother and sister? Oh my gawd!  This is so disgusting!  What the fuck?”

To hell with the piles and organization!  I rip open the envelope in front of me and dig for more details and I find my Mom’s birth certificate.

My Mom was born on December 20, 1933 to Douglas Hobart and Adelle Hobart.

Wait a minute – if they were married in July of 1934, having met in the fall of 1933, Grandma would have already been pregnant when she met Grandpa.  Does that mean they lied about when they met, or does that mean my parents are only half siblings and Grandma listed him as the father even if he biologically wasn’t?  That’s another question I might have to discover in the ‘Adelle, Misc.’ envelope.

“Grandma?  What the hell?”

But for now, I try to go back to my parents.  Mom’s birth certificate is no longer neatly preserved as I drop it to one side and rifle through to find my father’s birth certificate, not even able to remember in which folder I should look.

When I finally retrieve it, I read that yes, the letter is completely true.  Born on November 16, 1934 to Douglas and Adelle Hobart, my father is also my Mom’s younger brother.

“This is perverse and gross and, oh my gawd!”

Papers fly as I search for my own birth certificate, which must be here somewhere.  I do find my brother’s and I read it to find equal parts shock and momentary relief, but not clarity.

Nathan David Hobart, born July 18, 1953 at Giebelstadt Air Base, Germany, to mother Rebecca Rachel Hobart, but no father listed.  I can only imagine it was because she couldn’t admit that her brother, or maybe her half brother, was also the father of her child.  Or maybe, she didn’t know who the father was, which sadly, would be a better alternative.

I finally pull out every document, except the military files of Grandpa, and start to piece together all the overwhelming facts scattered around the spot where I am nearly numb from sitting in one place so long, not to mention the catastrophic facts of my family history being exposed.

I start by finishing my father’s letter to my Grandparents.

I know I ought to love her, but there’s only so many times my sister can ruin her life and I cannot get pulled down and have her continue to destroy mine, too.

Nope.  I read that line already.  I think I remember that shock.

I really wanted to serve like Dad did.  You know that’s what I wanted.  I wanted to get deployed to Korea and fight, and I gave that up when I agreed to go to Germany and keep track of Becky.  Looking back, the fact that she and I pretended to be married for the sake of her and Nathan was stupid and I should never have done it.

Back to the marriage certificate.  I remember it was in German and somewhere in this pile, I knew I saw proof that they were indeed married.  When I found it again, I noticed there was only one name on the certificate and it wasn’t either of their names.  It was Colonel Jenkins.

I don’t think this is a marriage certificate.  I leave everything – the entire mess of papers all over the floor – and retrieve my phone upstairs in the bedroom.  When I glance at the screen, I see a series of texts from Daniel.

Niesha in early labor, not at hospital, but soon.

Project good. So tired.

Love you. Adore you. Miss you.

I want to reply but I realize these are hours old, and he is likely asleep.  Besides, I want to translate this document, so I scurry back down to the mess I have created and look up ‘Totenschein’ once I find the paper in the pile and type it into my phone.

A quick translation appears: death certificate.  This certainly explains why there is only one name.  I likewise type in ‘verstorben,’ which also appears on the document and discover this is the decedent.  It’s David Jenkins.  The date of the death certificate is February 1, 1953 – that was the one part of the document I was able to read when I first looked at it.  Poor Grandpa, he lost his comrade in arms.

The shuffling of papers leads me back to the letter from Colonel Jenkins, which he wrote while my father was still in basic training.  Sometime between when he wrote the letter in October and his death in February, he left Louisiana for a command in Europe.  It must have been a very different theatre than the one he experienced while fighting with my Grandfather, and perhaps that’s why he was able to get my father an assignment at his next duty station.

I nearly lose track of where this trail of convoluted facts is carrying me, so I pick up the letter a third time, and continue again to read.  It occurs to me at this moment that these are the first words I have ever heard directly from my father.

I’m stuck in this lie that you began weaving when I was a much better person that I am now.   I failed you, I failed Becky, I failed Nathan, and I failed me.  I’m just a fucking failure.

I’ll do what I can until her kid arrives, but I’m done.  Figure out something, or she can figure out something herself, but I don’t want to be a part of this family any more.  Jim Beam is my family now.


When I decided to spend today unpacking and sorting through my family’s history, I never could have imagined I would unpack this much history in a single letter.  Fuck.  Just fuck.

I’ve seen my father’s own words in front of me for the first time.  I find out my father isn’t my father; he’s my uncle.  My brother is only my half brother and I have no idea who his father was, or who my father is.  My parents lived a lie that my Grandparents created – a lie that I lived every day for more than forty years.

Clearly my Grandma wanted me to find all of this and know the truth, but she never told me.  I’m so pissed at her, and my Grandpa, and my parents, and fucking everyone.  This isn’t what I want to know about my family.

Amazingly, I take the time to fold up his letter and put it back in its small envelope, but I certainly don’t care if I keep this mess in any kind of order, and I don’t mean the pile of papers scattered all over the floor, but this insane mess I am discovering.

It hits me that I’ve been in possession of all of this information for years – at least since my Grandma died and that was more than twenty years ago.  Damn it!  I know I can’t change it, but if only I bothered to read all of this sooner, I might have been at peace with my family story rather than having to face all of this now.

I want to reach out to Daniel.  I want his comforting arms around me.  I want to not be alone with this secret.  I reach for my phone, then remind myself it is the middle of the night where he is.

“Oh Daniel, I wish you were here.”

I nearly finish the words and my phone chimes.  I grab it and see Daniel must know I need him.

At hospital with Niesha. This is it. Stay tuned.


NEXT: Lies Of Omission – Part 57


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