Archive for December, 2011
Lynn’s Comments: My father has always been part of my life since I was a baby. The only twist of my family life is that I was the child of my father from his affair, so he never told his wife about me. He has kept me a secret all these years. In the entire time of growing up, my father has never allowed me to call his house or have his telephone number. I did challenge it at times, but then got busy with my own life and let it be. The last time I saw him was in 2007 as he had a few strokes and could no longer drive. It was in 2008, that I met with a private detective to see if I could get help to locate my father. The private detective just suggested that I let it go and leave it as is, as it would be costly and would take tons of time. I understood his points and let it go for the time being.
In Summer 2008, I did connect with one of my father’s relatives and found them on Facebook. We became Facebook friends and I took some time before I revealed myself. The following year in February 2009 we met in person at Fairview Mall in Toronto. He asked if I met the family, if I would reveal who I am. I started bawling my eyes out in his cafe in the mall. Being a secret all these years, has not been particularly easy. I then composed myself and we caught up to know one another. It was such a blessing to meet at least one member of my father’s family.
A few months later in May 2009 on Victoria Day weekend, I got a hold of a cousin’s telephone number and called him at home and introduced myself. I asked my cousin for help to connect me with my father. He did not take it well, asked me to go away and threatened to hang up on me. To say I was hurt, is an understatement. It truly broke my heart and I had to take several months to recover.
Since I had no connection to my father, and missed him so much, I decided on one rainy day in October 2009, to go to St. James Cemetery in downtown Toronto. Just two week earlier, I had researched where the family gravestone plot would be, based on the knowledge I had of my grandparents. I showed up that rainy day, brought some white flowers and walked around and around crying until I found the family gravestone. In total, in took me about an hour, but when I found it, I felt I had come home. I was no longer alone and had a remote connection to my family. For the following 2 years, I would periodically go to St. James Cemetery and visit. It would make me feel better when I missed my father and any connection to my father’s family.
Two years later in October 2011, I had a meeting booked with a real estate agent who had invited me to this office. As soon as I walked into the office, his whole demeanour and way of being reminded me of my father.About five days later, I gave him a call as I got inspired to ask if we could use previous addresses to locate a current address. At the same time, I wrote the architectural firm, my father co-founded, and let them know I would like to connect with him. That night, I met with friends for dinner at a Morrocan restaurant and told them I needed help locating my father.
Miraculously, the next day, I received both the house and cell phone number for my father from an employee at his former company. I simultaneously asked the real estate agent, if he could help me execute a meeting with my father. I so strongly felt he was the right one to go with me, even though I meet him only 6 days earlier. And 2 days later, I received the full address of my father’s residence. When I finally decided it was time, I received all the information. I was happy and excited at the same time! A dream come true.
At the end of November 2011, the real estate agent made a call to my father’s residence and requested a meeting for us. The wife declined, as she mentioned, my father had signs of dementia. The real estate agent called to tell me the news that our meeting pursuit, was unsuccessful. My heart sank, as my dream of seeing my father one last time, was crushed. Luckily, the real estate agent was creative in his thinking, and suggested we just show up in Newmarket with a cake or pie and be really friendly.
It was December 11th, 2011 that the big day arrived and the trip to Newmarket to attempt to see my father one last time was planned. I met the real estate agent at Yorkdale Mall and with an apple pie in hand, we jumped into his car and off we went. My heart pounding and nervous like crazy we approached the town house complex where my father lived with his wife. We rang the doorbell and there was his wife. The real estate agent introduced himself and chatted away with my father’s wife. He also thanked her for the kindness when he called a few weeks earlier to arrange a meeting. She felt quite comfortable and invited us in. At the same time, she called my father over and he walked towards us. He looked great, well dressed as usual and he greeted us.
The real estate agent and I walked to their living room area, and I sat down in one of the couches. I sat beside my father and just soaked him in, as I knew this would most likely be the last time I would get to see him before he passes on. Even though he had a bit of dementia, he started to tell stories and sounded like his normal self. I was in my glory sitting in the home of my father and his wife. The real estate agent kept his wife engaged in conversation and they both had IPADs in common, so his wife pulled out her IPAD and showed us family photos. I got to see my half sister and her kids. It was so heartwarming. I never did tell the wife, who I was, while I was there. After all, why upset an 82 year old woman and turn her world upside down while she was the caretaker of my father— it didn’t make sense and I think my father would have wanted it that way as well.
Before we left my father’s home, we took photos and captured the last memories. We hugged them both and left. My mission was accomplished. I saw my father one last time. It took me 4. 5 years and a few years of crying by myself to get there. It was so worth it. I finished my duty as a daughter with the complicated family dynamic that I was born into.