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Well, it’s done

October 22, 2020

A nine-page letter was sent off electronically yesterday to this “brother”.

The first seven and a half pages were, as per a request he’d made, about my life with Mum. That was an interesting exercise. The bedsits, the tower block and eventually the flat in the Beach area of Toronto. Yes, we were, by anyone’s standards, poor, but it wasn’t the sort of grinding poverty that so many people – so many families – are experiencing today. When you’re a kid you just take things for granted. “This is my mum. This is where we live. These are my dolls and teddy bears.” There was always a roof over our head, food on the table and there was always love. The fact that we were poor didn’t really register with me until I was about ten and finally figured out the reason Father Christmas consistently failed to bring me the bicycle I asked for every year was because my mother couldn’t afford it.

Still, I’m sure he will register the contrast between my childhood and his own comfortable, secure suburban upbringing. I’m not saying he was the lucky one, because he wasn’t. I had Mum. I just hope the contrast will inspire some gratitude to the family he seems so willing to look away from in his search for “blood” relatives.

I also hope those seven and a half pages give him what he wanted, because the last page and a half was a build-up to “thanks, but no thanks” in which I detailed most of the concerns I’ve written about here. To wit, with four siblings, two children, two grandchildren (and a third on the way) and a longstanding relationship with the Love of His Life, why on earth did he need me? Also, as far as I’m concerned, my real “family” are my friends, people I’ve known for years and whom I love and trust completely. Not much room available for complete strangers, no matter how keen they might be to join the group.

My thanks to my friend Krys, to whom I sent that page and a half, asking her to read it and let me know if it sounded like a reasonably polite “thanks, but no thanks” or more like “thanks, but fuck off”. I really didn’t want it to be the latter. Did I, she wondered, really want to say “What the fuck?” Yes, I told her. I’d already let it be known earlier in the letter that I swear. A lot. Did I really want to compare him to “a bull in a china shop”? On reflection, perhaps not. Other than that, she thought it was just fine. I removed the bull reference and did actually change “what the fuck” to “what the hell” (seemed a little less harsh) and off it went with its final line wishing him joy in his life.

Checked the seldom-used email account this morning. No reply. I genuinely hope he isn’t too crushed. As my cousin Jeanne suggested when she first contacted me about his existence, he seems like a nice enough guy. It’s just a shame this nice enough guy doesn’t seem to be content with the lovely family (and life) he already has.

I don’t know. Perhaps if he’d taken a different approach, if he hadn’t so exuberantly laid claim to me, perhaps I might have come to a different conclusion, but I don’t think so. I tried, I really did, to find something – anything – we had in common, but it just wasn’t there.

The truth is, as excited as he may be to have found out about my existence, the main thing I’ve felt since finding out about him is a profound sadness at discovering there was yet another bastard who let my mother down. No, as Krys pointed out when I said this to her yesterday, that isn’t his fault. Nor is it his fault that we have nothing in common other than the womb in which we were conceived. It just is what it is.

At least I didn’t take him to task about those Random Caps. It was tempting.

From → Blog

One Comment
  1. Donna permalink

    Well done on making the decision. I know it wasn’t an easy one. Time to breathe and hopefully get a decent night’s sleep now! Hugs x

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