I'm still trying to process what happened to me today when I got the email today from a member of my family on my father's side. What's unusual about that?
The void left by his absence was huge. My mom had to use all her survival skills to support me and her right after World War II and the culture that I grew up in labelled me as part of a minority within a minority where the dad just skips out. My personal identity was chopped in half at a very young age.
I got small bits and pieces during the past five decades, but not much. As a newspaper reporter, I found my dad when I was in my 20s I found him living in Florida as a wealthy man and with a whole different family. He completely disowned me.
I was left with scant information about my dad and with no template to pattern myself after as I grew as a man.
Well, life happened after that and it wasn't alway pretty, but I learned and I found my way through the maze of challenges. But I was still in the dark about my dad's family.
Then today, I got an email from a nephew, a half-nephew, whose mom was my half sister who I never met. He had been on a life long search for information about his grandfather. The details he sought were elusive until he plugged my dad's name--Claude H. Thorp--into Google and found this blog post that I wrote on Father's Day this year. That happened today.
He emailed me and invited me to call back. Within minutes, I called him and "wow." There are real people on my dad's side who seem like just regular folks.
I still trying to sort through what this means. There's lots of emotion, lots of history and there's still that little boy part of me trying to learn more about his dad.
I know I'm not alone. There are many others who have lost contact or who have never had contact with loved ones, especially fathers and mothers. I'm going to be 65 in a couple of days. But the desire to learn about the other half of me never left.
I'll never have an earthly father who will say, "Hey Wes, you're a neat guy. I'm really proud of you."
But as I connect with close family I never knew, I have a feeling that I'll learn more and that I'll see my family grow. I had two brothers and a sister. They have passed away. But I look forward to getting to know their children.
Only God knows where this is going. But, I thank him for today and for the contact with people I never knew existed.
God is faithful. I've prayed for more info since I was a little kid. Today he said, "Okay" and I was given a special gift. I'm grateful.