He shunned the father he never knew, and the brother he only met online. Now he’s left to wonder what he missed.
I was raised by my grandparents, and never really knew my biological father. I met him once briefly, when I was a teenager, but when the opportunity arose to develop a real relationship with him, when he finally wanted to get to know me …
“My turn to abandon him!” reasoned angry teenage me.
I gave him the cold shoulder and that was that.
I would find out a few years later that he had died unexpectedly.
That was it. My window had closed.
I let the opportunity to know my father slip through my fingers, and lost it forever. I got blackout drunk and angrily lamented the anger of my youth.
Fast forward a few years.
Through the magic of social media, my father’s brother found and reached out to me. Our families met for breakfast one morning, and we have been friends ever since.
Through him, I learned about that side of my family. I’ve gotten to know sisters, aunts, uncles and other relatives. Some living right here in the same town as me. Some I had even known before we knew we were related.
“Pretty neat,” says I.
Fast forward a few more years.
I find out I also have a half brother who is just a little older than me, who had a similar relationship with our father. He contacts me, we commiserate, and become friends on social media.
And let me tell you, he was SO excited to find out about me! We even have similar taste in music. Unfortunately, that’s about it, as far as similarities go.
So we lock horns over politics and various social issues (only on social media, as we live a considerable distance from each other) for a year or so, before I finally angrily remove him from my friends list, essentially cutting him out of my life before I ever meet him in person.
What kills me about it, now, is that I knew he suffered from severe depression. It’s possible that his hostility stemed from that. I know hurt people hurt people. I know I should act with more love, but I just can’t take the hatefulness anymore. That’s it. Done.
Fast forward a couple months.
This morning I found out that the brother I never met lost his fight with depression.
That is it. My window has closed.
And I find myself lamenting the anger of my youth.