Friday, August 12, 2005

Special Guest

Ok, so my laptop still isn't fixed, but I've been wanting to tell this story, so I'm using my at-work desktop.
Like I mentioned in the previous post, this week I have a special houseguest. It is my father. I say "father" and not "dad" because Dad is the man who raised me, helped to shape the person that I am, and who I love very much. My Father, is just that. The man with whom I share half of my DNA. He didn't marry my mom and he didn't want the responsibility of raising a child, so he lived his life separate from me and mom. According to various family members, I met him a few times when I was a baby (of course I don't remember). The first memory I have of him is when I was about 5 or 6 and he came to visit me and mom in Hawaii. All I really remember is that he held me on his knee and tickled me until it hurt (then mom told him that it wasn't funny anymore and to let me go). This story is not supposed to be disturbing, it's just something that sticks out in my memory. On the side: I have not been ticklish ever since.
After that, I would get birthday cards or random postcards from him, but never saw him again. His parents were always very friendly with mom and they DID want a relationship with their granddaughter. They also came to visit us a few times in Hawaii and once more after we moved to Mississippi. When I was 9 my mom married my dad (technically step-dad) and I got a birthday card that year with a $$ gift. Mom said that if I wanted to keep the $$ gift I would have to call him and tell him "thank you." That was the last time I talked to or heard from him (no phone calls or letters/cards). Fast-Forward to 1999 (I was 18): I graduated from high school. When we were addressing invitations mom asked: "Do you want to invite D----?" Oh boy, I figured "sure, why not. He probably won't come anyways." Surprise, he did. I was able to spend a little bit of time with him--the chance to get-to-know him, and he was an okay guy. He even helped me out with paying for my college tuition. During that time, I would get a quick letter or phone call every 3 or 4 months, and he invited me to visit him at his sister's house in Washington (state, not DC). He bought my plane ticket and I stayed up there with them (him, my Aunt--who has always sent Christmas cards and pictures, 2 cousins, and gramma E----) for almost 2 weeks! I had a great time and I really got to know these "new" members of my family. Fast-Forward to April 2005: We continued to keep in touch (phone calls and letters) and then he wanted to come and visit me and Richard for a few days (since he couldn't come to the wedding back in November). Richard had met him back in 1999 when he came to my graduation, but not seen or talked to him since then. We got along really well and really had the chance to get-to-know his personality. Then, in May-June we took our 3-week vacation and a few days of that were spent in Wisconsin (where he was building his sister's new house). We met my aunt L, uncle-in-law R, 2 cousins C & A, my uncle W, aunt-in-law J, and 2 other cousins M & M! It was great! They are terrific people and they made us feel completely comfortable and at home!
So, now it's August and he's back down here visiting. Not just visiting, he's also building a shed/laundry room/deck for us!!
It's been fun and he's a very interesting person, but boy-oh-boy could I tell you some stories! :) He's just so UNIQUE from ANYONE else I have EVER met!! Trust me, if you ever met him, he is one of THOSE PEOPLE who you would NEVER forget! Ah, you know what they say: You can't choose your family.


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