Lies Of Omission – Part 57

I want to respond, I want to be excited, and I want to tell him how deeply hurt I feel.  I start to type, delete, type, delete, type, and delete again.  I finally settle for letting him know I hear him.

So, exciting!  Keep me posted.

I love you more than you can imagine.

And now we wait.

I ought to clean up the mess I made, but I am exhausted from what I’ve learned.  I start to at least push everything together when I see my father’s other letter.  I don’t know if I can take much more, but I also want to see the handful of words I still have in his own hand.  This is the closest I will ever come to hearing his voice.  I cannot resist.

Nov 19, 1982

Mom and Pop,

I know it’s been a long time.  I’ve tried to get sober, but it’s not easy.  You may have heard I’ve been discharged.  Not recently, but I’m still in Arizona.

The Dona Ana Sheriff’s Department found me.

“Jesus, and he’s in prison?  What else can go wrong with my father, or, I mean, my uncle?”

I’m guessing since they contacted me you probably haven’t heard that Becky died.  She and Andrew got into a fight.  He’s been arrested for manslaughter in her death, and somehow, he knew where to find my number in Becky’s stuff.

My mom was killed by her boyfriend?  Oh my gawd.  She had a Jason, too.

Anyway, they asked me to take Natalie.  She’s in foster care in Las Cruces.  I can’t.  It’s not that I won’t.  I know what I said in my last letter, but I can’t.  She deserves better than a drunk uncle.

Can you contact them?  You can probably get the number from the operator there.

I’m including the one picture I have of me and Natalie after she was born.  Not now, but sometime, can you please give it to her and tell her that I love her?  She may not have been my daughter, and I wish I could have been a father to her like I was for Nathan, but I am not that man anymore.

Thanks, Mom.  Thanks, Pop.  I know you’ll love the hell out of her. 

Happy Thanksgiving,


I wipe my eyes just so I can finish the last couple sentences.  The man I thought was my father loved me and I never knew.  I always thought he abandoned me and Mom, when in fact, he wasn’t even my father.  Why did no one ever tell me?

I certainly don’t remember being in foster care.  I probably spent a few days with someone I thought was a family friend and was just someone who filled a void when my Mom was killed.

I start crying all over.

“My mom was killed.”

I knew when she died, but it’s like her death just happened and I am learning about it for the first time.  I am learning about it for the first time.

“Oh Daniel, I need you so much right now!”

I know he is busy himself, but I just need him to know how desperately I miss him now more than ever.  I type in my own code that he won’t know means far more than a simple text.

Hurry home.  I really need some family here.

I decide to take extra care with my father’s letter, well my uncle’s letter, and put it back into its envelope.  I would still like to believe he is my father.  I wish he was.

I wonder if my actual father is alive.  I set his letter down and go back to the Thomas and Rebecca envelope.  I find four death certificates clipped together.  My Mom died November 14, 1982.  My brother, died August 4, 1971 – it’s a military death certificate, and while I want to look at every detail, I cannot help but flip to the third.  A man by the name of Andrew Williams, died June 4, 1986, who I presume was my biological father – why else would Grandma include it in this bundle?  Even the first name matched Dad’s letter.  The last one was Thomas Hobart, the man I always believed was my father.  My uncle, and the man who gave me to my grandparents, who died March 1, 1987.

Wait, again all the numbers are distorted in my mind.  I thought my father, I mean, my uncle, died in 1980.  I drop the four documents into the pile and go back to his letter, and I search for the envelope it came in among the ever-growing disaster area.  When I find it, in my rush, I see one more item fall out of it.

And now, I am staring at a photo of me and my father.  I mean, not my father, but the man I always believed was my father.  He’s holding me, cradling me, in the air, like I’m a little airplane.  I’m wearing his blue air force side cap, which is at least three times larger than my head, since I am still an infant.  He’s in his uniform, and he’s smiling the way a father ought to smile when holding his daughter.  Except he wasn’t my father anymore.  I turn the picture over and see a hand-written date: 10/28/76, Uncle Tom and Natalie, a girl who can fly.

I hold the envelope behind the picture and see the post mark of November ‘82.  I always believed my father died in 1980, but I don’t know why that date doesn’t match any of these.  My real father, my Dad, the man who I still wish could have been more than just my uncle, died when I was eleven.

“I could have known him!  I could have talked to him! I could have remembered him! Damn it!  Damn it, damn it, damn it!”

I’m angry that I never got the chance to see Tom.  I’m pissed at my Grandparents, who never told me, yet left me all the clues to find out.  I’m so mad at myself for leaving all these answers about my life boxed up as if nothing mattered.  I ache that Daniel cannot help me through this pain and nausea and uncertainty right now when I need him most.

I’m overwhelmingly disappointed in myself.  I couldn’t have changed my getting to know my Dad, but I would have known long ago about how my Mom died, and maybe have been more prepared to push away someone like Jason.  I would have known so many details about my family.  I might not have carried around anger at my father, or uncle, and maybe have forgiven him.  I wouldn’t have put my Mom on a pedestal when she clearly made horrible life choices.

“I guess we have that in common.”

I stand up and take a step back from the chaos epitomized by the stack of papers in the middle of the room.  I can’t even tell which items I set aside earlier in the afternoon to shred.  I’ll have to tackle this again another time, maybe just separate my family papers from the genuine garbage and face this fight when I am better armed.

I stand exasperated, my family destroyed, my precious memories evaporated, and my beliefs broken.  I’m destroyed.

I drag myself upstairs and lie down on Daniel’s side of the bed, curled up with his lumpy pillow about which I usually complain.  Today, though, it’s just a bundle of his padding to clutch, which is what my entire body needs.  I think to text him again, then realize I left my phone downstairs.  I’ll go back later and retrieve it.  It will probably be hours before I hear from him.

I normally take my phone everywhere, but for some reason today, I can’t seem to retain it.  When I left the storage room, the one item I held in my hand was the picture of me as an infant and the man I never knew.  I stare at it as the only memory that might be real, even if I cannot remember it myself.

Today obliterated every memory of my family that I cherished.  I fall asleep, devastated and alone.


NEXT: Wellness Check – Part 58


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