Thursday, September 17, 2009

notes about the birthday indianapolis trip 7-08

OK, so I'm set to go to my brother's surprise 50th birthday party in Indianapolis. The plan is for me to fly to Tulsa on Thursday, get in a car with my youngest brother and my mother on Friday morning and drive to Indy. We'll then drive back to Tulsa on Sunday and I'll fly back to Texas on Monday.

I'm feeling dread. This will be the first time I'll have been with my mother since I was told the secret. I've been asking God whether I should talk with her and He has been silent so far. I have 2 friends who say I should talk to her while I still have the opportunity for a conversation with her. I have 1 friend who says why talk to her when it won't change anything. My sister and my aunt I believe are fearful that I will attack my mother when and if I speak to her. I honestly don't know what to do.

The night before my flight to Tulsa, I'm sitting at my computer. I remember when I first found out about having a different dad, I googled him, and found out he had died in 2006. But I remembered there was an address, and that it had looked as if his wife was still alive. I asked God about it. No clear words, but there was a tug in my heart, a needing-to-know kind of tug. I booked a car, and when I arrived in Tulsa, I drove to the last known address of my biological father. I had no idea if this was the correct Charles Munion, I had absolutely no idea if I would be welcomed or rejected, but it seemed to be the right thing to do.

It was the correct house. I learned a bit more of how it all happened. I sat with his widow, who was still grieving for her husband, and listened to her pour her heart out to me. She had married him after his second wife had died at age 48; she herself was a widow at the time and she had met Charles at a grief support meeting. They'd been married 20 years. She is 73, my mother's age. She had never had children, and Charles' children were not involved in her life .... she was lonely. I asked God in my heart why I was there, and He said she is lonely. So I listened. I looked at photographs. Before I left she called my aunts and made arrangements for us to meet at her house on Monday.

I went to my mother's apartment to get her packed for our road trip. As I was packing, my phone rang. It was a woman named Leslie Munion. My half sister. I listened as she told me she'd known about me for 37 years and had wanted to find me. I listened as she told me that 2 days earlier her mother's sister had called her and told her she was hiring a detective to find me for Leslie. I listened as she told me that she plays piano, and that she and her father had sung together in churches all her life. I listened, and I was amazed at some of the parallels of our lives. I cried. She cried. I hung up the phone and walked back into my mother's apartment. And He spoke, and said, "Now". I told my mother what I'd discovered. I forgave my mother. A burden was lifted, and I knew I was finally free.

When the secret was first revealed to me, it was freeing. Then, I was mad. I was mad that so many people had lied to me. My mother, my grandmother, my great aunt, my uncle, my aunt, my cousins; later on, 2 of my brothers knew about it. It felt as if my whole life had been a lie. I totally understand that as a young child the guarding of the secret had been for my protection. But I couldn't understand why the secret had not been revealed to me as an adult.

But then, I had to remember, as I have to on most days, that there is One Who is in charge of all things. For whatever reason, this was the perfect timing for me to know. And I've accepted that. My sister told me earlier this year (2009) that I was angry. She told me my anger was a wall between my youngest brother and I. And that hurt. One, of all my siblings, I think I'm more connected to my youngest brother than my other siblings (and the enemy was quick to put doubt into my heart about my relationship with my brother). And it also hurt my pride. I didn't want to think of myself as an angry person ... but she was right. She had shared with me a couple of years ago that she had learned that she had mis-labelled emotions her whole life. So I'm trying to label emotions correctly these days. And be okay with letting it be known that I have negative emotions (DUH!).

So on Monday, I go to my birth father's home and meet his 2 sisters. They are clear in mind, so they told me the story as they knew it. And it was good to know how Candy Gay came to enter the world. There was a boy and girl who knew of each other in high school; he worked at a gas station near her home. They flirted and started dating the summer after they graduated from high school. He went to college that fall to play football, and he received a call in October from Charlotte saying that she was pregnant. He left college, and did what was expected. He married her and they set up house together. My grandmother had also introduced my mother to an older divorced man, Gus Summers, and sometime during her pregnancy my mother decided to lay her bets on an older, very handsome and charming man. Charles came home one day after work before I was born and Charlotte told him she didn't want to be married to him and that she wanted a divorce. Charles went to his mother's house, and told her the story. He got the divorce, joined the navy, and never spoke of me again. If anyone in his family ever asked about me, he silenced them. My mother married Gus Summers three months after I was born. He was the man I had always thought was my father, and he was the father of my brothers Cary and Chris.

That's the story of my birth.

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