June 30, 2020

Tuesday 4 & Meeting My Father

Good morning! I'm getting a late start today because I had to go to Walmart first to pick up the CD I had made of the photos I took over the weekend. I thought there were going to be more problems because the girl working couldn't find my order. It, thankfully, turned out to be one of those cases where she just couldn't see it. A fresh set of eyes spotted it right away. Back here at home it took some finagling to get them uploaded, but uploaded they are and you'll be seeing them shortly.

To get started today, I'm joining in with Annie for the Tuesday 4. We're talking about the Fourth of July.

1. Do you think the 4th is an important holiday? Why, why not?  Absolutely! It's important to remember what our ancestors and forefathers went through to birth this nation. It's important, now more than ever, not to lose the lessons of our history. It's also important to celebrate as a nation and foster those feelings of being a part of something bigger than we are.

2. How do you celebrate? If you are not American, do you celebrate your nation's national holiday?  I'm an American and was raised to be deeply patriotic. All of my ancestors have been here from either the beginning or very close to it. I am descended from John and Priscilla Alden who arrived on the Mayflower. Other ancestors were not far behind. On "normal" years our town has a huge week-long celebration and we enjoy many parts of it...the parade, the carnival, the fireworks, etc. This year with none of those options available, we are simply having a family picnic, minus our son's family as they will be on vacation. With a little luck, we may be able to swim! The pool guy called yesterday to tell us the guy who does his excavation work was all tied up. So, Tim has someone he knows coming today or tomorrow to do that and then, hopefully, the pool guy will come right away.


3. In the time of Laura Ingals Wilder,  all Americans read the Declaration of Independence every year on the 4th and lemonade was a big treat for the town picnic. Do you read the Declaration of Independence? Or, your nations important papers? How about lemonade? Are you a fan?  No, we don't read the Declaration of Independence here at home...but maybe we all should. If more of us did, maybe, as a country we wouldn't be in such bad shape right now. Lemonade...eh. I can take it or leave it.


4. Picnic, eat inside the house or eat out for the 4th?  Outside, of course!



And now on to what you've all been waiting for!

Tim and I left home around 8:00 Saturday morning, heading to what was possibly the most long awaiting meeting in the history of ever! At the age of 55 (56 in August) I was on my way to meet my biological father for the first time. We took our time and enjoyed the scenery on the drive and stopped at the Market House in Meadville where I purchased a loaf of homemade bread and jars of honey and jam as a thank you gift for my father and his wife having us stay with them.

We arrived around noon and everyone was a little nervous, a little awkward, but anxious to get to know one another. We talked so much that we didn't have lunch until 3:00! After lunch we went for a drive. It was good to see the places I knew from living there and then later visiting my grandparents and of course, it was really interesting to see all the places my newly discovered ancestors had lived and farmed. There were so many of them at one time that I couldn't believe I'd never heard the family name. Maybe my family took special care to make sure that I didn't? We also visited the cemeteries and saw all of the grandparents' resting places.



My grandparents and their graves. They died many years apart as William
went hunting in 1951 and didn't come out of the woods. Nobody seems to talk about it
but I've heard hints that something wasn't quite right. Suicide? Murder? Accident?



There was time to walk around and explore when we got back to their home. The road where my father lives is almost completely populated by the Amish. He sold them his family's home several years ago and then more recently sold them all of his land. He kept life-rights for the land they live on, which is way back in the woods (though it used to be pasture) and the mobile home they live in when they are there (only a couple of months out of the year) sits right on the edge of a big pond. A graceful heron flew in to entertain us while we sat on the deck.




Just to show how close the house actually sits to the water.
That window on the end is in the bedroom we were in. There
are windows on three sides of the room and we slept with them
open, but wow...what a racket! On the land side we listened to
the tree frogs sing all night and on the water side a big old 
bullfrog croaked out his love song to the ladies all night.


It was after we walked around and before we ate, that we finally sat down and talked about some of the hard stuff. I learned a few things that are going to remain untold just in case my mom ever finds and reads my blog. Some things back then were not as my grandfather told her. I imagine he thought he was doing what was best for her and me at the time, but I also think it explains what he meant when he once told me "Someday you're going to find out that I'm not all that great." 

So...my impressions of my father. It was a good meeting, a bit anticlimactic in a way. On Sunday, I had that feeling you get the day after Christmas...the let down after weeks of build up and excitement. And I had nearly 56 years to build this up!

After all the wondering and imagining, the truth is he's just a regular guy. Granted, he's got some pretty far out there (from my point of view) ways of looking at things. He's definitely a man of contrasts. He's very cerebral, but also very earthy in a sort of hippy kind of way. He doesn't believe in God, but he references Bible stories. He's kind of self-centered in that he turns most conversations to himself (I had been warned about that in advance) and his own adventures and he likes to go on and on about them. On the other hand, he's very generous and willing to share. He allows the Amish boys to come and go at will to fish in the pond and when he and his wife are in Texas they know the boys go in and out of their house, listen to their radio out on the deck, and watch their TV. He's okay with it as long as they don't damage anything or steal anything. For all of his liberal views, the thing that surprised me the most was his complete lack of political correctness. The bottom line is, I guess, that he values knowledge above all and if he comes close to having a god, it's that.







So, it was a good meeting. A few questions got answered. There was no "Wow!" moment, no overwhelming emotion. He's just a guy who happens to be my biological father. I do hope to have some type of relationship with him going forward, though I know it won't be a typical father/daughter one. To be honest, I get the impression my siblings aren't particularly close to him. They were young when their parents divorced and he has moved around a lot. Even now, he's in Texas most of the year, in PA for the summer, and part of August he will be in Maine (where his wife is from). His wife, by the way, is a very nice lady. She's had a few strokes and doesn't speak well, moves slowly, and sometimes does things wrong (like carry a big knife by the blade), but once we got the hang of her speech Tim and I both really liked her.



I'm sure we'll keep in touch and I will be seeing him again in a couple of weeks as I pursue a relationship with the eldest of my half-brothers. He will be visiting the week of July 13 and Megan, the kids and I are going to drive up on the 15th to meet him and his family and to give Megan and my father a chance to meet. I'll be missing out on seeing my sister over the 4th because of family commitments here, but she and I text and write fairly often. I guess the other brother is sort of estranged from the family so I don't know if I'll get to meet him. Maybe by next summer the world won't be such a mess and the family reunion will get to go on. That would be something...to meet all the aunts, uncles and cousins.

**UPDATE** I very literally received a call right after posting this from my sister. Our father is in the hospital after experiencing some "tingling" in his arm last night. They are running tests now and she will let me know what happens. She was quick to assure me she didn't believe it had anything to do with stress or excitement from our meeting. He's had a heart attack in the past, heart surgery, a pacemaker, and a colostomy that's been reversed.

27 comments:

  1. I am so glad you got to meet your dad! I know being adopted as well, there are just so many unknowns. You look a lot like your dad. I hope he is ok. Keep us posted.
    I loved your answers for the Tuesday 4! I just love this country so much. Loved your answers! Have a nice holiday!

    https://lorisbusylife.blogspot.com/

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    1. It really is nice to have some questions answered and some gaps filled in. He is going to be okay, I think. They put a stent in and they're keeping him until Thursday. Have a nice 4th!

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  2. Keeping in prayer, Stacy. I am glad you got to meet your biological dad. I loved your photos, what a lovely place to live (and yes the 'noise' too, smiles).

    I am so jealous, our King isnt allowing the photo kiosks to open and since we had that debacle last week with Walmart loosing our photos, well...I'll just wait. P.S. My husband had a series of strokes 13 yrs ago, I can give you a litany of things that have changed.

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    1. It really was so nice there and we liked the "noise", too. It was lovely to sleep with the windows open. I don't do that here. I didn't hear the announcement, but my mom said Wolf has put the 14-day quarantine into effect for us now. I'm wondering how my son and his family will do their vacation in VA?

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  3. Stacy I'm so glad things went well and I hope you continue to get to have a relationship with him and the aunts and uncles too.

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  4. I couldn't agree with you more on #3! And wow, I am a descendant of John and Pricilla as well!! Small world! So happy to hear you got to meet your dad!!! Praying he will be ok and that your relationship develops more! Happy Tuesday!

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  5. Prayers lifted for your father's total recovery! So glad your sister hasted to assure you, his situation wasn't the result of your meeting. I agree with Lori -- you certainly favor him. (Does Tim think so, too?) I can only imagine the litany of emotions; and I'm looking forward to hearing what Megan thinks later this month.

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    1. Thank you, Myra! You know I will share as the journey continues.

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  6. Glad you got to meet him!! Hope things go well for him too. Thanks for joining in. Yes we should all read them!!!

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    1. Thanks, Annie...and yes, I have a copy so I'm thinking a new tradition will start this year.

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  7. What a wonderful encounter. After 55 years, it could not hardly be better I would think. YOU look a lot like your dad. He is a very nice looking fellow and he looked like he was proud to be standing there beside you!

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words. I think he was probably more eager and excited than I was for this meeting.

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  8. This was so wonderful. I don't know the circumstances of your situation of why you never knew him, but that doesn't matter now...the important thing is you have finally met and perhaps it will be the beginning of some very good things for you both in the future. Perhaps he will come to know the Lord because of meeting you. You do look a lot like him. I am working on my genealogy and trying to get in touch with my grandmother's birth family because she was adopted. DNA testing has led me to who I think the family was...but of course anyone who knew them is long gone. Praying I can connect with a descendant who will actually know something about them. Your story has encouraged me to keep trying! Praying for your father now.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words and prayer. I hope your genealogy search has a happy ending.

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  9. That is awesome. I enjoyed reading and the photos are lovely. What a beautiful property that is. So green!

    I found my brother 12 years ago. I knew about him but having a relationship with both my parents alive wouldn't have happened. Now we do enjoy a nice relationship. He lives in Alabama and I live in California.

    I am a genealogy nut! I did the whole DNA when it first came out. I'm fascinated with family trees and family history (good and bad)

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    1. That's so awesome that you found your brother and have a relationship! My son did the DNA testing and while it did connect him to cousins, it's not how the meeting came about. At the same time things were happening on our side, two of my siblings learned they had a sibling and began searching. It all came together at just the right time.

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  10. What a blessing to finally get to meet your bio-dad and his wife!! I hope he is well and gets out of the hospital in plenty of time for your next meeting so he can meet Megan. Thanks for sharing this adventure with us, Stacy!!

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    1. Thank you for following along on this adventure and always praying and encouraging me. I appreciate that so very much. The news is that they put a stent in and expect to keep him in the hospital until Thursday and then send him home.

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  11. Hi Stacy: I enjoyed your Tuesday4Meme answers very much.
    Now, let's get to the knitty grit. I am so glad your meeting
    with your biological Dad went good and I hope he gets out of
    the hospital soon. I hope your relationship with him continues.
    Blessings to you and thanks for sharing this journey.

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    1. Thanks, Gloria! I appreciate the good thoughts.

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  12. Sounds like a good meeting overall. I am glad you are taking things slow and realizing that relationships of this sort are never really "normal." I know from experience. Hope you dad is well and that you can have good relationships with your siblings.

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    1. No, we can't ever have the normal father/daughter or even sister/sibling relationships but I think we can at least be friends going forward and I think it's telling that my half-sister called me to tell me about our father before blasting out a group text. They are including me in family things.

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  14. That sounds like quite a meeting, really. I'm glad it went well. It could have gone badly. I'm grateful your husband was there. And you know, being a liberal person is not so bad. We're not demons or anything. We just think there should be a social safety net and that women should have control over their own bodies. I think having knowledge as your god is not a bad thing. It's just not what you perceive as appropriate, is all. I'm glad you're flexible and I'm glad I feel I can say this to you. Peace out.

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  15. This was so brave of you! I'm so glad it turned out well, but even if it hadn't, well ... it would have been easier for you to accept the status quo and you didn't. So good for you!

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