Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Big News

(Warning: This is really long, so make sure you have some time to read it. And please leave me comments...I wanna know what you think of this!!!)

Alright, I am now emotionally prepared to tell you the big thing…it is, as you will see, some pretty big news, and it has taken me some time to get my head around it. I also had to have a series of discussions with my family (my father’s family, the ones I really like) about how to "deal" with it. That’s not a good word, but it is all I have, so I will give it quotation fingers and move on.

The news is that I have one more Christmas present to buy, and it is a very special one. And... it is for someone that I didn’t know about until just last week: my other little sister. Yup, turns out that my father has another daughter that he finally brought himself to tell me about. Here is how it all came about…

Last Saturday I went with my Aunt (my father’s youngest sister) to see him in prison. Based on what he had told me on the phone a couple of weeks ago, I had reason to believe that this was the last time I would see him alive. He is extremely ill (he is frail and thin and looks old and terrible) and really seems to have given up the fight to live.

We had kind of a nice visit, I guess…as nice as that sort of thing can be. I brought him a picture of me and Munchkin, which he has been asking for but I never wanted to give to him. We probably hung out for 45 minutes or so and then it was time to leave. He asked my Aunt if she would step out so that he could talk to me alone for a minute.

Now that I think about it, this should have been a poignant, dramatic moment…dying imprisoned man and his last moments with his daughter, both knowing that he would be dead within months, providing him with his last chance for penance for a life gone terribly wrong. But no, none of that…that would require me, I dunno, liking him.

Anyway, he had some stuff to say and I listened. Finally, he said he had one last thing to say, and I could tell he was struggling to say it even now. "About seven or eight years ago, I was involved with a woman for most of a year. I got locked up and never saw her again, but a friend saw her right after that and she was pregnant. I thought you would want to know…her name is XX and last I knew she lived in YY". Yeah, this is the kind of person we are dealing with…he thought he might have another child and avoided that one, too. At least when I was born he could claim he was young and stupid, but he was in his 30’s by then.

So…that was something to digest. I didn’t tell my Aunt right away because I didn’t really know what to say, and had some work to do (he didn’t know if it was true, let alone whether it was his child, and wasn’t sure where she lived.) When I got back to the BFF's apartment (I stayed with them) I broke out the phone book and started dialing. There were a handful of people who had the right name, or initial and last name, and I called them all. No one was home…lol, but I left messages. Not an easy message to leave "Hi, this is kind of random, but I was hoping to talk to you. My name is Accidentally Me, and my father is XX. If you are the woman by this name that he was involved with, I hope that you would call me because I would like to talk to you."

Well, maybe an hour later, I got a phone call back from an understandably concerned woman. She said that she was indeed the woman, but she didn’t really want to talk to me if there was any chance that it would cause him to come out of the woodwork. I assured her that there was no chance of that, and that my real concern was that he thought she might have a child.

Finally she confirmed that she does in fact have a seven-year old daughter by my father. Needless to say, that is kind of big news… I told her that I was only in town until the next day and I would love to come over and meet them, but she was kind of hesitant and told me that she would have to call me back.

I still didn’t tell anyone in my father’s family, just because I didn’t really know how to or what to say. But that is what BFF(b) and I were up until five in the morning talking about…this raises a lot of questions. How do I get to know her? What kind of relationship can I have with her? What if her mother doesn’t want me around her at all? All kinds of things come up.

Anyway, my phone rang at about 8:30 on Sunday morning. "Sorry to call so early, but I know you are leaving today. Last night I sat the little one down and told her about you and I have never seen her so excited. She really wants to meet you so I was hoping that you could come over today if you have a chance." Which was excellent news…so I hopped in the car, drove to their house, and that is when I finally met my other little sister:-D

Cute as a button!!! She looks a lot like me and she was SOOO excited to find out that she had a big sister. And I had a great conversation with her mother, too. They live in a really cute little house in a nice neighborhood, her family is nearby (she made her brother come over when I was there because she was scared:-)) and she is basically a nice person and apparently a good mother. No idea how she got hooked up with my father…we didn’t really talk much about him.

That was actually a relief, I was sort of fearing that her mother might be a cracked-out junkie living in a hideous project somewhere…I feel like I have managed to do ok with one little girl, two is not something that seemed feasible…lol. But she seems to be in a great spot and I was really happy to see that. We visited for a couple of hours, and then I had to leave because I needed to meet my mother’s family for brunch.

Anywho…One of my Aunts (father’s side…sorry this gets confusing, I jump between families a lot) took us to the airport Sunday, and I told her all about this then to let her tell the rest of the family. Well, they are all mega-excited and can’t wait to meet the little nugget. I am assuming that they will be as warm and inviting to her as they were to me a couple of years ago…but her mother is a little concerned about overwhelming her, which I totally understand.

So...this is why I am going back to Chicago this week. I am taking a 6:30 flight, meeting my new little sister and her mother and taking them both to a Christmas party with our father's family so that they can all meet each other:-)

How is that for a surprise Christmas gift?

11 comments:

e.b. said...

Holy! That is really intense and remarkable. You have been through so much and to add something like that. Really impressive. The father, death, jail and now that....

Good luck with the new addition and welcoming her to your (obviously) loving arms. Really impressive.

Ella said...

Wow! That was a big bomb. I am glad your newest little sister seems to be in a stable home with a good mother. Hope you have a great time with your blended family over the holiday.

Nicole D. said...

I read this post before the last one, never mind my question about when you are going back to chicago...lol.

Ally said...

Fun!!

I am sure that is a lot to take in, so I can understand why you needed some time to think about it.

Now, do you and Munchkin just share the same mom or is she related to this newest family member too?

I guess it's a good thing that you're accustomed to dealing with the unexpected, huh? I hope you have a wonderful trip and that the meeting of the families goes smoothly and joyously! I look forward to hearing about it.

Ally said...

p.s. Do I win a prize for having the closet guess:)?

Still just me said...

What a lucky little girl to have discovered so many more people to love her. Good luck in your new relationship.

k.d. said...

yes, a "big bomb"! a new little sister! wow wow wow!

i don't know how i would have handled or digested that!?

just 2 words: good luck! :-)

Accidentally Me said...

e.b. - "Holy shit" was kind of my reaction, too...lol

ella - Total ditto on the nice mom, I am not sure how well my caretaker complex would have dealt with it otherwise

Ally - Correct...she and Munchkin are not related. But they both look like me:-D And yes, you win the honor of being "Most perceptive reader" for noticing the lack of a prison visit recap;-)

Still Just Me - She's gonna love hew new family, they have been great to me and they will be great to her

k.d. - "wow wow wow" is a good word...

Bob said...

Well that sounds exciting! I was worried that you would have bad news when you finally broke loose with that post. That is really great.

socal sweetie said...

Wow, that really is amazing! It sounds like a wonderful Christmas gift and I'm sure your new little sister is so overjoyed and thankful to have a wonderful big sis like you that already unconditionally loves her.

You sound like such an amazing and grounded person for all that you have went through in your life. It really is impressive!

gargi said...

hey.. i am a new reader to ur blog, and i must say, im awfully impressed by ur sheer kind heart. just wish u a happy and fulfilling life..