My blog is pretty quiet on Sunday nights, especially during 3-day weekends when the Golden Globes are on TV, so I thought maybe I’d sneak this one by without anyone noticing. Then again, a lot of people said nice things to me about my Something Else post, and this turned out to be quite a story. And it’s a story I haven’t told anyone else yet. Literally, no one else knows this, so of course it makes sense to tell the whole world through my blog. (That was sarcasm.) And it’s really interesting to think about this story and consider the power of the internet as a way to reach people, which was one of the ideas behind that post in the first place.
It turns out that even though I haven’t seen my real father since I was a young child, maybe 5 years old, he’s been reading my blog for a while. How do I know this? Because after he read that post, he broke a very long silence and wrote me an email. The message came late one night, so late that I didn’t see it until the next morning when I woke up and checked my phone. I saw my father’s name, read the first line or two of the email, and closed it. It was just too much to handle all at once.
Then a day or two later I finally read the whole thing. The email was kind. He explained that my memory was pretty much accurate — an empty apartment in the Bronx where he was going to live after he and my mom split up. And he told me how hard it all was for him and that he never meant to lose touch. Sometimes plans don’t go the way you expect in life. I’ve learned that lesson a few times. I took a few more days before writing him back. It wasn’t an easy email to write, but I know my father appreciated the reply, even if it was a little late, because he wrote me back again and even sent me a photograph of himself, since I hadn’t seen an image of him since he was in his twenties.
I’m note sure what comes next. When something like this happens in life, it takes a lot of emotional energy, maybe more than I can spare right now. But I used to argue with someone about whether it was better to know the truth, even if you might not like it, or better to know nothing at all. It looks like I might have been proven wrong.