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I called Mark and his son answered the phone

March 10, 2012

I found Mark’s phone number. I looked at it for thirty seconds. Then I dialed. I felt thirty years of fatherlessness driving me to dial.

His youngest son answered.

“Is Mark there?” My voice was barely shaking at this point.

“No, I’m sorry. Can I ask who’s calling?”

This is my brother. This is my brother. This is my brother. This is my brother.

“My name is Jessica….”

He gave me Mark’s cell phone number. He was going to get off the phone. I didn’t want him to.

“Um, you may not…Anyway, I’m related to your dad…You may not know about me.”

“Jessica? Yeah, I thought it might be you. We know about you.” His voice was calm, kind.

I started to cry.

“Oh. Did…did your dad ever say anything about me?” Why am I asking this? What is wrong with me?

Get off the phone, Jess. Hang up the phone, Jess.

“Yeah, we always knew about you. But we were told you didn’t want anything to do with us. That you didn’t want to see our dad or us.”

I tried to control my crying. “I didn’t even know you guys existed until yesterday. I thought your dad was dead. My mom told me he left us and didn’t want to see me. She told me that he was wanted by the FBI.”

He laughed. “Well, he’s been a lawyer for twenty-two years. So…um, no. I think the FBI would have caught him by now.”

My head spun. The walls changed color. As I talked to him, years of my core beliefs shifted. I felt like I was drifting. Drifting.

“Can I ask you something? Is Mark like…like a dad? Is he a good dad?”

“Oh, yeah. He’s this polish guy…super emotional. I can’t imagine him ever walking away and saying he never wanted to see you.”

We talked for a few more minutes. I hungrily asked him question after question. I could have talked to him for hours. A part of me felt so embarrassed with him, my need so obvious, so naked.

Like me, talk to me, stay on the phone with me.

He is nineteen. I am thirty-five. He grew up with two parents. I grew up as the parent. I know nothing about him. But I want to know everything about him.

In every single second of this experience, hope and fear wrap themselves around every moment.

The hope and fear war against each other, relentless.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. stephanie Renner permalink
    March 11, 2012 10:24 am

    wow! This is big!

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