Or, in this case, when the past comes knocking on the door of a random relative who, in turn, calls you.
My biological father left when I was very young. I don't even really know how old, as my memories get all jumbled up. I remember the day clearly, but I can't seem to place it on the timeline. Anyhow, my mom did quite a good job of erasing that part of our lives. She had her reasons, which I won't get into now, but nevertheless, when she remarried, my new dad quickly became the only dad. In fact, the change had happened so thoroughly that Don and I had been dating for a VERY long time before he saw a picture of my parent's wedding (with me in the bridal party) in the guest room & questioned it. I never thought of dad as my step-dad or my adoptive-dad. Just dad.
A few weeks ago, I spoke with my aunt who still lives in my hometown. She had some very surprising news for me. She had gotten a visit from someone asking for my phone number & address. She invited them in to get more info & discovered it was the 2nd wife of my biological father. She had a son, I'll call B, with him (they are no longer married) who is now 23. He is a student at UNL & feels like he would like to put together some pieces of the puzzle to his life & meet me. What is entirely spooky to me is that this kid is just as much my brother as Peter, but I've never met him, nor did I even really know about him until now.
In the course of their talking, my aunt gathered a bit more info. Including the existence of a 3rd wife & 2 more kids, ages 17 & 15. My bio father is still living in NE and had open heart surgery 2 years ago. Apparently, while he was recovering from surgery, he wasn't expected to make it. B went to see him, being his son and all, and my father wouldn't even talk to him. Somehow, it relieves me to hear that. I know, it's crazy. But, I don't know my father at all. I just know what my mom told me & that wasn't much until she was dying. I've always wondered just how one-sided the story really was. It feels good to know he's at least a bit of the creep she painted him to be.
So, now, I have the phone number of my brother, B. And, I have to decide what to do with it. I think I will end up calling him. I mean, in a few months, I'll be living just 45 minutes from him. But, I just have to work up the courage. It may seem strange, but I feel a little incapacitated when I think about dragging out the past. Once you start, it's hard to bury it all back neatly. But, then again, maybe B is being put in my path, not to be reburied, but for some other purpose. Only God knows.