Over the years, I’ve opened up a lot of closed doors that have revealed the truth to many lies and secrets. Some of the answers quite honestly were too overwhelming and have left me with even more puzzling questions. At times, I have wondered if I hadn’t opened any of the doors would I have been better off. Not so sure about that.
I have learned in my journey that what one tries to hide from others usually has much more to do with their own weaknesses and failures. Not keeping it real has little to do with protecting someone from possibly getting hurt.
Even when I became an adult, did my parents not think that I could handle honesty better verses deception?
If you’ve never met me in person, I can be hard on myself. Regardless of how ugly things may have turned out, I feel like I am somehow to blame for even the circumstances that were obviously beyond my control. It is hard for me to put into words the unfairness in the world that has hurt me deeply.
A long time ago, a pleasant-sounding older man called a couple of times when my parents weren’t home. We were instructed to always get the name and the phone number of the caller. The guy gave me his first and last name and followed it by saying, “Oh, just tell him his son called.” His last name was the same as mine and my stepfather’s, but I didn’t even bother to ask my parents for any explanation. I knew they wouldn’t have told me the truth.
I still vividly recall answering his phone call in the kitchen, and later that evening hearing part of a heated exchange between mom and dad coming from behind their closed bedroom door. My mother was yelling angrily, “Just pay him off!”
As it turns out, that man’s name, as I still remember it all these years later was indeed my stepfather’s son. I did not know that my stepfather had been married before and had another family — an ex-wife with an adopted son and an adopted daughter, along with two grandchildren around my age.
I learned that approximately four years after those telephone calls, my stepfather’s son had passed away sadly at the age of only 37 from health issues.
With my friend’s help, I was able to find my stepfather’s daughter-in-law, his late son’s widow. What a lovely older woman! She was very kind and understanding when I, some random stranger, called her on the phone. I knew that she was answering my questions more candidly than my own parents would ever have.
My stepfather’s daughter-in-law shared with me that around the time of the calls from her late husband, that I had answered as a teenager, would have been close to their wedding date. She said that her husband had always wanted to make his father proud. Apparently, my stepfather wasn’t in attendance at his son’s wedding or his funeral, and that she had never even met this man her late husband idolized.
Just wish I could have given my stepfather’s son a hug and said, “I am sorry; I truly understand what it means to have someone we love let us down.”
I know I must figure out how to close some of the doors because no matter how much I want to … I can’t change the endings to so much sadness and disappointments. Are there any easy ways? I would love to make it happen in 2015.