Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My birth father Ken

Lately I've been thinking a lot more about my birth father, Ken, and his children. They are my 1/2 siblings just as much as Iris's daughter is. Do I look like them? Share mannerisms? I don't really look like Iris or Madelaine, and Iris has said before that I favour Ken more then her.

I believe that I have enough information that I could find his family if I wanted to. I know that city that he lived and died in, in fact it's the same city that I grew up in and will be visiting soon. I know the day he died and his first name, so finding his obituary should not be that hard. I'm sure the public library there would have old newspapers on file, it was only 7 years ago.

What I struggle with is what I would do with that information if I had it? I have more or less promised Iris that I would not interrupt anyone's life, or come knocking on doors, exposing her secret to all the world. And I COMPLETELY understand that. I especially understand her fears of telling Madelaine, who suffers from mental illness, has been suicidal in the past and who has just been laid off from her job of 24 years.

Yet I still wonder - What about me? What about my rights to know? And maybe my father's children would want to know too. Or maybe they would be so angry to find out that their father was involved in an extra-marital affair for more then 40 years that they would not want anything to do with me. And what about his wife? What would it do to her to find out that her husband had a child with another woman? Then again, I also wonder how it's possible for 2 people to have an affair for more then 40 years and no one knew about it? Did Ken's family know about Iris, but just chose not to say anything for the sake of the family?

None of us is getting any younger, so the window of opportunity is not as big as it once was. Ken has already died. Iris is 77 and not in great health. Ken's children would be between 55-60 now. How does one even go about contacting someone in a situation like this? With Iris, everything went through a Social worker, who kept both mine and Iris's identity private until we were both willing to share with each other on our own. Do I find them and just write a letter? "Dear so and so... I'm your 1/2 sister. Surprise!"

So many things to ponder. My trip to my hometown is in June. I think that I will end up at the library while I'm there, even if just to get the info while I can. What I do with it..... who knows.
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