Many years ago I learned my dad was not my real dad. This disclosure was significant! For a long time, I kept it to myself because I was embarrassed and ashamed. Then in my later years I shared it with close family members and in my faith story which I gave at many services at my church.
About three years ago, one of my half brothers contacted me and asked if I could have lunch with him and his wife. Of course I agreed. After all, these are friends I grew up with in my church. Around this same time I met up with my half sister at her home in Arizona. We had nice conversations—catching up on each other's family—but the subject of my relationship to them never came up . . . until about two or three weeks ago. My half sister and I were talking on the phone—she lives many states away from me now. She brought up the fact that I had sung at her father's funeral and at the time her mother had advised her not to ask me. She told me her mother said, "You can't ask her because she knows." My half sister said she wanted me to sing because I had such a beautiful voice, and so I was asked and consequently I sang at his service, not knowing he was my biological father. She said a few more things and then I asked her what she meant by, "You can't ask her because she knows." I know what? She was quiet for a moment, and after the silence, I came out with "That I know your father is my biological father?" and she said, "Yes." Then the hush-hush information was out in the open.
I gave all of these details because Tuesday I got an email message from my older half-brother informing me my other half-brother died Monday night. He died suddenly, and unexpectedly. His obituary can be read here. Later that day I got a phone call from my half-sister with the same news. She and I must have talked for an hour or more. All of this has left me a bit sad. While I wasn't close to him and hadn't seen him since his mother's funeral in 1996, it affects me. Life is complicated.