Blasting Your Past

The message from my brother, T, last April wasn’t a tremendous surprise.  He’d gotten married.  What surprised me was that he’d not married the woman he’d been dating for a year, but had met someone new two weeks prior, and found himself completely smitten – head over heels in love, as he’d never loved anyone before.  And they had just eloped.

One of the reasons i can never give up on my brother is that despite things going rather horribly wrong with his first three marriages, he still genuinely and truly believes in the magic and mystery of love.  Most people would be a little bit crunchy and bitter after all he’s experienced, but not T.  At 60 years old, he has found “the one”, and i’m happy for him.

Perhaps a bit skeptical, but hoping for the best, anyway.

Since they’d not had a proper wedding, T and his new bride, K, decided to throw a party this month to celebrate, and bring the families together.  He is in the process of selling his home, and moving in with her, so the location will be near K’s home – conveniently located about halfway between where i live, and The Park.

Mom really wanted to go, so plans were made for my sister, S, to bring her to the event, which is being held this coming Saturday evening.  Last week, i got a call from S.

S:  I have already RSVP’d to a wedding that night, so I won’t be able to stay.  Is there a chance you can bring Mom home afterward?

daisyfae: Sure.  i had tentative plans for later in the evening, but can adjust.

S: I need to go to a wedding at 6, but can then stop by and pick Mom up to bring her to T’s party.  Maybe stay an hour or so, but I really need to get to the reception for the wedding I said I was going to…

daisyfae: i’ll tweak my plans a bit, the party i was going to will likely run late, so i can drop in later.

This really wasn’t a big deal, just a little extra driving.  It was the next bit that scrambled my circuits…

My oldest sister, S, and brother, T, are technically my half-sister, and half-brother, although none of us really think of it that way.  Mom was married twice before she met Dad, and S and T had a different father.  A man who abandoned them, and Mom, when they were small.  There were some rotten things that happened along the way.  Their father was later murdered, and neither of them has much memory of him.

S has been curious about her biological family, and has reached out to a few biological aunts and uncles to better understand his story.  T, on the other hand, has had absolutely no interest in digging into the past, and has made it clear to S that it is not something he cares to discuss.

Last winter, through a genealogy website, my niece discovered that S and T had two half-brothers through their father.  S was able to connect with the wife of one newly discovered half-brother, Dave, and was invited to attend his surprise 70th birthday party.  You would think that meeting a half-sister you didn’t know existed might be a hell of a shock to a 70 year old heart, it apparently went well, and S has maintained this connection.

As i spoke with S last week regarding logistics for T’s wedding reception, i was stunned to find that she’d invited her half-brother, and his wife, to T’s party.

S: I appreciate that you can get Mom home Saturday!  There’s even more complications though… Dave and his wife are coming down to meet T, too…

daisyfae:  Ummmm….  Did you ask T?  Do they realize that this is essentially T’s wedding reception and that he won’t have a lot of time to talk?

S:  I was going to have it be a surprise, but Mom thought I should tell T first.  They know he’ll be busy, but they really want to meet him.  I need to call them tonight.  T really doesn’t want to talk much about the past, either, and said he really wouldn’t be able to sit and chat with them.  Dave had a lot of history he wanted to tell me, but when I told T I’d invited them, he said he really didn’t want to talk about the past at all…

daisyfae:  It really is T’s wedding reception.  Sure, fourth time’s the charm and all that, but it might not be the best time to meet a half-brother you didn’t know you had…

S: Well, they really want to come…  I’ll have to tell them that I won’t be able to stay too long either.  I might show them a picture of you, since you’ll be there with Mom.  Not that I expect you to babysit them or anything…

daisyfae:   Ummm…. maybe you could suggest there might be a better time for them to come down to meet him?

S:  They’ve got their hearts set on it.

daisyfae: …..

wedding crashers

 

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18 thoughts on “Blasting Your Past

  1. Hello Daisy Fae. I totally get the thing with discarding the terms ‘step brother/sister’ and ‘half brother/sister’. I have extended family in England and I consider them my brothers and sisters too. When I went to England in April for my father’s funeral I saw them all for the first time in ages. There’s one sister in particular that I get on with like a house on fire and I love her dearly and we share no blood. I miss her a lot.
    That your brother should find ‘the one’ at age 60 is so sweet and I hope this time he finds lasting happiness.

    • So good to have you stop by, Ashley! Very glad you’re back! i didn’t know that my eldest siblings had a different biological father until i was 12 years old. After a brief “oh, wow! what does this mean?” phase, i just got on with it. The bigger challenge then was that my oldest sister was 10 years older than i, and was married with her daughter in hand when i was 10. Just lived in different worlds…

      My brother has a nearly lifetime history of making bad personal decisions, and has often been derailed because of that… It has been nice reading his words these past few months – he is, at least for now, happier than he’s ever been. i’m looking forward to meeting his wife, and will hope for the best!

    • “Awkward” for sure…. i will do what i can to look after Mom (who doesn’t really want to meet the child of her long-ago ex-husband that she also knew nothing about). i will do what i can to look after my brother. i will be polite to the man (and his wife) who are taking such a risk to connect with someone who really doesn’t want to connect.

      and i will get the hell out of there as soon as practically possible… :-/

  2. Sigh.
    Technically speaking I have only half-brothers. And, aged about six, I blacked the eye of my next door neighbour when she told me I had no ‘real brothers’.
    Mind you I knew my brothers my whole life.
    Good luck at get together – and I love T’s optimism.

    • i had to fill out some paperwork a few years ago for a background check. i had listed my siblings names on the form, and then got to the section asking about half-brothers/half-sisters. i left it blank. could not bring myself to do that. even though we have our differences – and clearly my eldest sister and i do not see the world through the same lens – i still love them.

  3. Oh boy …..
    That’s a recipe for disaster!
    I’m happy for your brother finding “the one” at 60. It gives me hope for not closing the door on love after 2 failed marriages.
    I hope that all will go relatively smooth … for ALL of you!

    • yeah… Studley’s going to come along to assist as needed, or just take notes so i can sort it out later!

      i have to fight the inclination to drop snark on my brother…. “he doesn’t date, he marries” and comments like that have come out of my head on occasion. the truth is, i think it’s very sweet that he has never given up, and that he and his wife are just giddy! there’s magic out there!

  4. Good on you for being happy for your brother. Love conquers all. Is she younger? I’m embarrassed to admit that my reaction might not have been so generous. I need to be a little more like you, methinks.

    I’m just back from Clevo. Ohio is full of stories and families like this. It’s exhausting.

    I need an org chart for your extended family.

    • i’m no saint, honey… i have to push back those thoughts on a fairly regular basis. i have to remind myself that there is beauty in this. the grand challenge is that he drinks, and often out of control. yes, an unrecovered alcoholic. sefl-destructive as hell, and has a history of being able to get level for a bit, but then crashing a bit down the road… ‘realistic daisyfae’ is far less charitable than ‘hopeful daisyfae’.

      a friend once suggested that i carry a portable whiteboard around so i can diagram the family tree when i go off on one of these stories. i read “i need an org chart for your extended family’ as ‘too long, didn’t read’. 🙂 i know you, my dear, and that’s ok. i wrote it to get it out of my head. that’s how it works for me….

  5. I have become fond of the phrase, “impervious to learning.” It came to mind more than once reading this. One way or another, you likely have a wellspring for new material. L’chaim!

    • Yes. “Impervious to learning.” That just about sums it up…. and i’ve got to hold to my mantra of “not my fucking problem” to keep from losing my shit. my job is to shepherd my mother to the event, and build whatever bubble i can around my brother, during my stay at the event. that is all.

  6. Oh dear… there would be better ways of leading your mum up to this, but they don’t seem to be interested in giving her the option of whether she wants to know about all this at all.

    I must say — as someone with kind fingers and lips but with a heart made mainly out of flint — I am highly sceptical of these passionate declarations of love for “the one”. Everyone’s “the one”, aren’t they? “Yeah, yeah, that’s right,” I think. “You dont have t say all that — just go and enjoy it!”

    • Mom isn’t thrilled, but by the time she learned of the plan, it was apparently too late for my sister, S, to retract the invitation Also being one of “flinty heart”, i share your point of view, but have realized that it is pretty pointless to convince anyone else of my point of view…. so i just politely nod and go on about my own business…

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