I briefly mentioned a question my 17 y/o daughter asked me while out for an evening walk in my last post’ “Shake Your Tail Feathers” and I promised to write about it since I didn’t want to sidetrack that post. Well, here we are. I really don’t know what she will think about me writing what I will be writing since she will not be previewing it, she will read it for the first time after it is published as will everyone else who makes the choice to read it. I ask that y’all hold your judgements, if any, because as a household certain decisions have been made for very specific reasons. My daughter, who will be 18 in less six weeks, has been dating this same guy now for about 2 years. I have held, in reserve, my opinions of the relationship after my initial thoughts were expressed. I have nothing against him personally, but he is 2 years older than my daughter and I always considered that a problem. But, as we can tell, life has pressed forward and we are faced with the present day and the challenges she offers for us. Over time the boyfriend has grown on me and impresses me that he has embraced his own life challenges and found the courage to pull himself up by his bootstraps and literally kick some ass to ensure his place in this world. In fact, let’s start there, let’s start with a brief history of the boy and you will see why I have grown to like him a little.
A few months before they began to date (they had been friends for who knows how long) his dad passed away. The death came fast as it was a fast moving cancer in his main organs that was never diagnosed. When it was caught he was admitted to the hospital and passed away a few weeks later. It is said he and his dad were pretty close, the only problems or mixed words they had were about his step mother who was unliked by the boyfriend from very early on. Within days of the funeral he was kicked out of the house he had grown up in and was lucky his aunt lived near by because he accepted the offer to move in with her. Since he had already graduated high school he at least didn’t have to worry about that as well. Skip forward a bit and soon the relationship between him and his aunt deteriated which is when he decided to move in with his older brother. His older brother helped with the part time job but also wanted him to help with the monthly rent and utilities. So what did he do? He got a second job and soon replaced the part time job with a full time job. He has been working these two jobs basically to keep a roof over his head and a little food in his belly. In a way, that’s where we come in, since he eats dinner here almost every night and spends his off time on the weekends in our spare room located right across from the master bedroom. Life isn’t great but he is surviving it for now. Then, three weeks ago his brother (and roommate), dropped a nice bomb on him. It was announced that he and his girlfriend were moving to Las Vegas, getting married, and staying there ton work and live. Now he has a predicament because he cannot afford rent non that apartment on his own. Enter my daughter and her solution.
So, while we were out walking she decided to ask me what I thought of him and his whole situation. I knew she was going somewhere with it but I just didn’t know where yet. Then she hits me with it, she wants permission to ask him to move into our house. A very bold request coming from someone who does not pay any of the bills. When she was done selling me her idea she looked at me as if I had an immediate answer to give her, which I did, but thought it be best to discuss it with her mother anyway. Needless to say she had already spoken to her mother and she was told it was up to me. It took her a week to get up the courage to talk to me according to her mother. She was hoping her mother would break the ice but she never did, never even dropped a hint, and never warned me either. We sat him down and hadna long talk about the arrangements which by judging the looks on his face was the first time he had heard about the solution. I wonder where my daughter gets her sneakiness.
We don’t know what his answer is as of yet because his pride is kinda getting in the way, he doesn’t want the handout. Like I explained to him, life happens, we have all been in a place which had no real way to succeed and some of us were lucky we had family or friends to lend a helping hand to us. Plus, as I explained to them all, he will not be living there for free nor will we become his maid. But, with that being said his life will become significantly less burdened since he will not have to throw away so much money on rent. I am looking long term, I know they will get married one day and if I can help make that a better transition then I will do it for both of them. At this point I really don’t know what tomorrow holds for him because nothing has been set in stone yet.
I complain allot about not being needed in the daddy role so much any more and that will probably never change. What can I say, I miss my babies. I miss the days when the dilemma was a scratched elbow or lost toy in the treeline. I know, we get older and our roles in our children’s life change. Seems that I am in a support role now. Its not a bad place to be I guess. I sure hope life’s problems get easier to solve. This will all work out I am sure, he will move into the spare bedroom of my chosing and we’ll just press forward. I used to be such a great hard ass, I wonder what happened to me.
Explaining my three fathers to my children has always been stories I enjoy telling. Sometimes it is like going down the wrong rabbit hole because it can be just a wee bit confusing. For those of y’all who just started playing along then I would guess y’all are at a bit of a loss. My recommendation is to search The Sting Of The Scorpion using the terms adoption, adopted, and biological. Then, perhaps y’all will be up to speed. Let me give a very brief review. I’m adopted, I’ve known my entire life. The fact that I was adopted was never the secret. In fact, until I turned 18 I never knew there was even a secret that people wished I never learned. In my case the records were sealed due to the circumstances of the pregnancy. Fortunately I was able to get them unsealed and have spent the better part of 25 years piecing together everyone’s dirty little secret, me.
On the backside of my property there lives an enormous oak tree. I find that when I’m in the presence of this oak tree that I tend to think of my family tree. My family tree is really twisted. If one was to look at it analytically I am actually the part of three family trees, if not more, each in a separate way that leads into a different direction. Confused yet? We’ll get back to that. I have had “family”, specifically my biological family, on my mind recently since we (my wife & I) are planning to visit my oldest daughter (23) in Rapid City South Dakota over spring break this coming March 2014. Most of my biological family lives in the state of South Dakota, as well as my biological father and adopted father are both buried there also. For the purposes of explanation in this post the following will be the reference points when I discuss my three fathers, BF = Biological Father, AF = Adopted Father, SF = Step Father, my BM (biological mother/birth mother), and my AM (adopted mother/mother). Refer back to these abbreviations during this post if needed.
Everyone seems to want a piece of me when we go on the trip when all I really care to do is spend time with my daughter and my 2 y/o granddaughter whom we haven’t seen in some time now. Now, personally, my “agenda” will be to spend time with my wife, kids, and my granddaughter. Now, will that happen? Your guess is as good as mine. As my younger children get older they have began to have questions about family because my side of the family is kinda complicated. Recently I, for the second or third time now, tried to explain things to my son, who I finally now think gets it. Me being adopted is not what is in question. How this fits into my life as well as my kids life is what always seems to be confusing. And, when I explain it here I might go out-of-order and bounce around a bit so just try pay attention. Like I mentioned above, from this point further I will address my fathers by their relationship to me. I needed to explain all of this to my children because they have never met my BF (biological father) or my AF (adopted father), all three of them only know my SF (step father) and all three of my children will be meeting my biological family (many of them but probably not all of them) in March.
So lets see where to begin here. I was born 06 November 1968 in a little town in the southeast of South Dakota. I was placed with my adopted parents within days of my birth. My adopted parents were divorced by the time I was 6. I will get into that another time. By the time I was turning 7 my mother was re-married and we all moved to the southwest side of Houston Texas. My AF remained in South Dakota where I visited him every Christmas break and summer vacation until he died at the end of the summer in 1983. I remained being raised by my SF and still to this day consider him to be my dad. Anything y’all read around this blog about the current happenings with my parents is about my mother and step father, which he is never referred to in the real world. There was never any secret of me being adopted, I have always “known” because I was told early on. Why? I don’t know. Before I start the next part, let it be known that my SF and my mother (AM) have always loved me and raised me if I was their own blood son. Their loyalty to me as a son has never, nor will it ever, be in question.
Once I was out on my own, joined the United States Air Force, married, and had my first daughter I was asked about my family history so medical records for my daughter could be started. I was at a loss, I was actually crushed because here I brought a child into existence and I don’t even know if I passed something on to her genetically that had the potential of being bad. I struggled with this fact for a few months as I held my daughter in my arms wondering if there were going to be things about herself that she would never know. After a brief discussion with my wife and a long conversation with my mother (AM) the decision was made I was going to find out who I was. It was the thought at the time, it gave me hope for myself and my daughter. Since I was stationed in Japan in 1991 I had to do things the old-fashioned way, I had to write letters. I actually only wrote two different letters, form letters, which I used to inquire about my adoption records and my biological parents. I won’t lie, I hit allot of dead ends, I got wrapped up in allot of red tape, and I was at a point (after a year) where I was ready to give up because there didn’t seem to be any information to have. Then, out of the blue, when I was ready to quit, I received a letter from the office of the Judge that was over my case back in 1968. I was informed that they had the information I was seeking, but, since I was overseas I needed to provide all my personal information along with an affidavit from my commander confirming my identity.
I gathered everything I had, to include birth certificate and the letter from my commander, loaded it in an envelope and sent it on it’s way. For the first couple of weeks I waited very patiently, then a month rolled by and my patience was wearing thin. After 3 months I just gave up. Soon after I received another letter from the office of the judge informing me that he has reviewed my case and my request and is granting my request to have my adoption records unsealed. I was informed that they were ordered sealed due to the circumstances of the adoption and the biological mother as a request of her parents. I had no idea what all of that meant and was more confused than ever. The following day I received a package (large envelope) from the judge’s office that had a complete copy of everything that was filed in accordance with my adoption proceedings. It was worse than my worst nightmare, everything I wanted to know was blacked out like this was some kind of top secret document. All of the names, dates, places, agencies, and so forth were either removed or blacked out altogether. These documents read like a very well written mystery, with one exception, I never got to find out “who did it”. So, for now, the quest for information is dead.
I was divorced in 1998, we split everything up, she went one way, and my daughter and I remained. I put 90% of my stuff into storage where it sat for the next few years. In 2000 I was remarried, I welcomed with open arms my own step daughter (that will be the only time you ever hear me refer to her as a step anything) and finishing up the remaining time I had for active duty Air Force Guard. In 2001, after my son was born, we decided we wanted to raise our family in a house and not an apartment. I didn’t want just any house, I wanted a house we could grow into, grow old in, and not need to move any more, as I was tired of all the moving over the years being in the Air force, I was done moving. I spent the next 18 months designing our new house. My wife thought I was the obvious choice as the architect since that is what I have a degree in. So I did it, between working for my SF as a concrete contractor I spent the hours needed creating our dream home. Once we were happy with the design I submitted it to a Texas state licensed architect for the “stamp of approval” I needed to move forward. I found 10.4 acres in a large lot subdivision that we really fell in love with. For the next 18 months we watched our dream come true.
After we got moved in I announced I needed to make a trip to New Mexico to gather my belongings out of a storage unit there. So, my oldest daughter and I loaded up a trailer and made the road trip. It wasn’t much, mostly boxes full of records, pictures, and different things I had collected while I was in the Air Force bouncing around the world. When we got back home I went to unpack the boxes and noticed the one that had all of my adoption research in it. Not wanting to stop, I had my daughter just put the box in the master bedroom closet for later. After about a month of organizing I was at the computer paying some bills, checking the weather, and just when I was getting done my wife comes in and announces “we need to talk” with tears rolling down her face. (Fuck! What did I do?) I knew I have done nothing so that couldn’t be it, so what was it. I noticed in her hand a letter that I had written so many years before and she asked me when I was going to tell her. Tell her? I thought she knew I was adopted, I really thought this had come up in conversation before. It had, but my quest for information was never talked about. To tell you the truth the box was put in my closet to protect it from humidity damage, I had no intention of going through it because in my opinion the quest was dead and I had given up. I explained to her I had no interest in talking about it but she was free to read all of it if she wanted to.
A few days later I was piddling around in the garage putting some shelves up when my wife comes out to let me know I had a phone call. Weird because I didn’t even hear the phone ring which was mere feet from where I was working. My wife holds her hand over the mouth piece as she whispers that she loves me in my ear. After I said hello there was an extremely long dramatic pause, so I said hello again. This time a woman said hello back to me. She went on to explain that my wife contacted her the day before and asked if her and I could talk. Okay, lets talk. She informed me of who she was, she explained to me that she was my biological mother (BM). I was at a loss for words. She told me she would tell me anything I wanted to know. She said we are older now so it was time for the truth to be told. Okay. She gave me a name and claimed it to be the biological father’s name but never kept up with him after I was born so that is all she knew. She then needed to go, this was too emotional for her, so we hung up. I was dumbstruck to say the least. Seems my wife is pretty sneaky. She told me she had “friends” who knew what to do with the information I had and in less than 24 hours had a name and a current phone number. Really? Really.
We found a number for the name she gave me and gave it a call. The plot thickened because the person she had me call was my BF’s good friend from back in the day. He put his name as the father and so forth to protect his friend’s marriage. This lie came between them a few years later and the friendship was severed, so he didn’t see the harm in giving me his name, the real name this time and he even had the phone number. After hanging up with him I called the number and asked to speak with the named person I was given and I was informed at that time by the man on the other end that he has been deceased since 1996. The man I was talking to was my BF’s wife’s new husband. He gave me the name and phone number of their oldest son if I wanted to talk with him because he might have more information. When I called him I got the answering machine. I left a message for him to call me and my information. When he returned the call we spoke for many hours because I knew things that nobody outside of their immediate family should even know. We were able to fill in each others blank spaces so to say. I offered up a DNA test to prove who I was and I was told that it wasn’t necessary he knew that I had to be genuine. The puzzle was indeed coming together for me and I basically unraveled everything he had ever known to be true. A few days later, his mother called me, she said she felt obligated since her husband had died before I could “confront” him in person. Yea, him being dead really did throw a wrench in it all for me.
I kept in telephone contact with my BF’s side of the family for a couple of years before it came time to go to my oldest daughter’s graduation in Rapid City South Dakota. She decided to go live with her mom, who guilted her into believing that her life was just too damn lonely without her. Since we were going to South Dakota for her graduation I had the bright idea that this would be the perfect time to meet my biological family as well as visit my AF’s grave that I have not seen since the day I buried him. I also contacted my BM and told her I was willing to drive to northern Idaho to meet her while we were on our trip. She declined as well as asking me not to contact her or her two other sons ever again. I have honored her request. I visited my AF’s grave, which was hard, it was emotional, and left me drained. The following day I visited my BF’s grave. This was hard as well but something I felt I needed to do. Why? I felt he needed to “see” me and “hear” my voice, I needed him to hear me and see me. I met all of his children, 4 sons and 4 daughters, and a whole slough of grandbabies, nieces, and nephews who had zero idea who this strange man was that was at their grandma’s house. The accepted me, it was like I had been on a long trip or lived far away and was finally returning home. Was it bizarre? Absolutely bizarre. by the time these 3 days were over my brain was mush, I felt like the wash cloth that gets crumpled up and left to dry in the corner of the shower, I was just done. But I had a graduation to go to, I had to get back on the road to drive five hours away to get to the next town for my oldest daughter’s graduation.
I talked with my daughter quite a bit about what has been happening. It involved her as well because the people I just met were here “people” biologically as well. I don’t think she was prepared for these talks but I know she walked away feeling better because now she had a few more answers that I could never give her before. The graduation was awesome, we were so happy for her because we know what an accomplishment it is to graduate. We spent the next few days with my daughter, doing different things, just her and I, it had been a long time since we got to just sit and shoot the shit together. The day came that it was time to head home, it was time to head back to Texas. I was out of energy, I was drained, and borderline torn if I needed to extend my trip so I could go to Idaho. Then, after a heated debate with myself, we drove back to Texas.
To this day I am close to my father (SF). He is close with all of my children. Until just weeks ago my 17 y/o daughter and my 12 y/o son didn’t know he was my step father. I had to explain so much to say so little. My son is looking forward to the trip to South Dakota to visit with people and to see the grave which bears the name of his grandfather which he has never met but was named after. It should be an interesting trip. My whole family will be involved this time in meeting all the biologicals, I’m told it will be a family reunion of sorts. I hope my wife and kids are up for the journey which is ahead of us. I will let y’all know if I was up to it when we get back. Until then, I guess this story is on pause. It’s not over, but it’s over for right now. I wonder what other people do when they try to explain their own family tree(s) to their kids. I bet allot of people are glad their roots aren’t so complicated.
Growing up I always was fascinated with the stories my uncle would tell all of us kids. He liked to talk about his time in the United States Marine Corps (USMC), his friends he made, the friends he lost, the places he visited, and his experiences. But, he wasn’t always a marine. Before he was a Marine he was part of a family which consisted of eight sons and eight daughters. He was the youngest boy, born 06 October 1932 in Mandan North Dakota. Coming from a family of Marines he knew early on he wanted to be a Marine and continue the legacy. He enlisted in the USMC on 08 October 1950 and was quickly carted off to fight in the Korean War where he completed multiple tours. In July 1953 with the end of the Korean war in sight he was cycled back to the United States he found himself stationed at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. Later in the year, 15 October 1953 he married his high school sweetheart and began his own family. Over the years they had nine children, five boys and four girls. In 1965 he was part of Rolling Thunder, the initial wave of soldiers being sent to Vietnam. He would do three tours in Vietnam, his last one in 1970 falling short since he was wounded in action. He returned home in the summer of 1970 and retired later in the year with 20 years of active service with the United States Marine Corps. At this time, my uncle, a retired USMC vet, decided to open a hardware/feed store where he grew up outside of Mandan. He would run the hardware shop for thirty years and finally decided that it was time to let his children carry on with it. The hardware store remains open today, some 42 years later.
In early June 2013 my uncle was diagnosed with a cancer I won’t try to pronounce or spell. by the time it was diagnosed it was spread to almost 60% of his body. He went into intense therapy to try and attempt to eradicate the cancer but it only put a little dent and then decided to continue to spread aggressively. On 09 October 2013 he was re-admitted to the hospital die to complications with his liver and kidneys which later in the week completely shut down. My mother, his last remaining sibling rushed to North Dakota to be by his side as everyone was fearing this would be his final trip to the hospital. He had recently, the week before, celebrated his 81st birthday a frail, sick, shell of the man he once was. Knowing he was going to die very soon he demanded to be let out of the hospital because he did not want to spend his 60th wedding anniversary in a hospital bed. On the morning of 15 October 2013 he was released into the care of his wife. Upon request, he was helped to get dressed in his finest Sunday suit for dinner in their one room apartment that evening, celebrating his wedding anniversary with the love of his life. In the wee hours of Wednesday, 16 October 2013 my uncle passed away.
His funeral will be this coming Monday, 21 October 2013. I was told that once a Marine, you are always a Marine, and you will die a Marine. His funeral will be a full on USMC service and burial. Many of his fellow Marines he served with over the years will attend to pay their respects as well as family and friends. When I spoke to my aunt this morning and my mother last night I was told that the one thing she is not looking forward to is being present the United States flag which will have been draped on the casket. She thinks the reality of his death will come to pass at that moment. She was very emotional. My mother has requested me to make my aunt a shadow box enclosure to house the flag and a variety of his Marine memorabilia she will be returning home with. As I wiped the tears from my eyes, as I am having to do now, I accepted the task. As I say farewell to my uncle Steven I am reminded what a remarkable son he was to his parents, how he cherished the very ground he wife walked upon, he was a great brother, and how he is a wonderful father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He was many things to many people, he was a man who was the picture of honor and reliability, luckily I knew him my entire life as uncle Steven.
I really find it interesting listening to the people around me, different media outlets, and on different forums because everybody seems to have an opinion about not having an opinion. Here’s mine. Eventhough we have the most feared military ever known to mankind we have a government which operates like a freaking barrel of monkeys. We rely on jackasses to make decisions for our country that are heard and seen worldwide. Yet, we the people only worry about what the new flavor of coffee will be at Starbucks. We trust the elitist group of Fucktards with the operations of our country when they should be the last damn people on the planet to be given the keys to the country. As citizens of the United States of America why do we sit back everyday and just watch as we get our asses handed to us? Personally, when it comes to politics and politicians, I could really give a flying fuck simply because most of them were elected to do a job yet choose not to do it everyday as their personal way of not doing business as usual. We have stood for this for way too many years. People are finally pulling their collective heads out of their asses and realizing that there is nothing left, there is no hope, and if we recover what will be left standing will not be what was promised. I have been accused of disliking our President on more than one occasion because I think that everyone in that office should be held accountable for their actions, their words, and the ability to make the best decisions for this country. Am I wrong for wanting our President to be responsible? When the politicians can play well together it is the American people who get punished. Why? We didn’t fuck things up. We didn’t write checks that can’t be cashed. Do the politicians listen to the masses, listen to the people who put them in power, or give a shit how their stupidity reflects on us as a country? The answer is a big fat fucking NO. But they sure worry about their fucking legacy though. Here’s my legacy. I get up every morning to go to work to provide an income for my family, to provide healthcare for my family, to put a roof over our heads, and to put food on our table. I pay my bills with the money I earned and I stay well within a very balanced budget. My children will remember me for being a good father who looked out for their best interests first. I don’t want to die and my wife and kids be stuck with a big fat bill. On the other side of the court we get to constantly see and hear how our government is broken, how we as a country are broke, and how the politicians have their heads so far up in the clouds that they really don’t care about any of us. Why do I need to pay for what another jackhole politician fucks up? Why does one single American need to bear the responsibilities of politicians because those politicians can’t and won’t do their damn jobs? Why? I will tell you why. Too many Americans have just thrown up their hands in disgust, they waive the white flag signaling their surrender, and accept that they will be a slave to the very government which was democratically elected to protect them. Do you feel protected? Do you feel secure? Me either. I wake up every morning amazed that the Stars and Stripes still wave and our fucking country wasn’t given away overnight in some dark backroom deal. I can’t even watch television any longer because the only thing that is ever on is the stupidity of the day provided by our fantastic politicians. But they are elite, they don’t have the same rules as us, they don’t have the same laws as us, and they know it. I think that any law or bill that is passed for the American people should affect the all American people straight across the board. The elite should not be able to opt out or waivered out or able to buy their way out. What is good for me should be good enough for politicians, Congress, the Senate, and even Mr. President. If it is good enough to be a part of my life than it should be good enough to be a part of their lives as well. But, we know better. We know that they get choices we as the American people don’t have. It has zero to do with party affiliation because they have the blank checks written out by force from the American people. Well, piss off, I would like to close my checkbook from this point forward. I just want them to do their fucking jobs, worry about the American people first, and start being responsible for their actions. Is that too much to ask? I still say that one day I will wake up and there won’t be an America any longer. It won’t be my fault. But I will get blamed and you will get blamed for any and all of their fractured failures. Why can’t we point our finger and tell them to their face that we think they are doing an absolutely fucking lousy job running our country? I think we know that they don’t care. I think we know that they are beyond taking what the American people want into consideration. I didn’t fuck this country up! I think when the government wants to cut back it should start with their paychecks. Perhaps if we talk to their wallets they would better understand the rest of us. If these politicians, the President and Congress included, were working in the factories of America they would be fired. When you don’t do your job in the real world you get fired. You are punished for fucking up. You are held responsible for your actions. Unfortunately over the years the elite politicians have a protocol which allows them to do their absolute worst work in the best interests of the American people and still have a job the next day. Must be nice not to have to give a fuck about anything and still get a fat paycheck every week. Personally, I have to give a fuck, I have to care, because if I don’t then I can’t pay my bills, can’t feed my family, and would have to find us a nice box to cozy up into out in the vacant lot somewhere. Not the politicians, they don’t have our rules, they don’t have our resolve for doing the right thing whether anyone is looking or not. Here’s to you, the fucking politicians, you are fired. And, because you fucked over our country for so many years you have been stripped of your fucking titles and status, you have been stripped of your retirement packages and your lifetime elitist healthcare. Now you are fucked so just move on, better yet, go ahead and get the hell out of the country which you so desperately have tried to destroy. I’ll hold the door for you, just get to walking. Don’t look back because we don’t want you back, we want you gone. Does anyone actually think that any of them care that there is at least one person, me, pissed because they choose not to do their fucking jobs? Yes, I know, they could care less. Fuck them all. I extend that same sentiment which they extend to me. Just shut the fuck up, suck up your whining pride, wipe your noses, and fix everything that you have fucked up. Everyone says they agree that shit is broken, stop trying to swing deals and just fix it, period.