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Family

And so yesterday my newly-discovered nephew messages me and with a little back-and-forth, we arranged to meet at a local restaurant around noon for lunch. We got there pretty much directly at noon and had to wait (they live a little further away); as I got more and more nervous and wondered if I could back out because I was getting the shakes, everyone turned up and I met my older brother for the first time.

He's very, very tall (much as my full brother was). We hugged for a long time. I hugged my nephew and his wife and their two kids (I'm a great-aunt, too!), we were all introduced around, then sat and my brother and I just kinda looked at each other for ages. We talked and absent-mindedly ate, taking up tables at the restaurant for nearly three hours as we discovered that we've been living within ten miles of each other for twenty-three years, each looking for the other and suffering under the idea gained from our father that neither should know about the other.

My father was also extremely secretive, and while he introduced my little brother Tim to my older brother, apparently he didn't think I should meet him because I would "blab to mom," and that would upset mom. Now I'm left wondering if mom WOULD get upset if I tell her about this, or if that was just Dad being Dad, too. Also kind of annoyed, since Tim was a HUGE blabber, and I was always fairly secretive and quiet myself (knowing clearly I inherited THAT from Dad...). My family is f@cked up in ways that are so strange and weird. (Dad was also somewhat protective of me; I never have any doubts he loved me, but he was... odd, I think, in retrospect.)

We talked about how we felt about Dad, about our mothers, about books (he and my new sister-in-law are big readers, and have the same trouble with the storing of printed material as we do), about this, that, and the other thing; they're certainly mundanes, but interesting and pleasant and intelligent mundanes, so that is sort of the essence of family, I suspect.

I kept being struck by how he both did and didn't look like Dad -- the same eyes, although blue instead of brown, and similar hand movements -- just little things that reminded me of Dad in some strange ways. We closed with an invitation to Thanksgiving at their house, lots of hugs again, and then home.

It's strange and fabulous and it makes me angry at Dad anew for keeping me from knowing them sooner. Filled with praise for Ancestry.com and Facebook, which made it all possible.

And I'm not sure how to bring it up with Mom, now. Would she get upset? Was she irritated that Dad stayed friendly with his first wife? Did she really want to punish the children for the sins of the father?

I'll have to think that one over...

One serendipitous note -- the restaurant we chose is one of our favorites, a Cajun place at Town & Country mall called Baby Kay's, which we've been going to for nearly as long as we've lived here. Yesterday was their last day at that location. We had no idea they were closing and moving (although our waitress said there were some problems with licensing at their new place -- I hope they get all that smoothed out). The new location is a few miles further away, but not too far. Odd, my new family would choose to go there... I'm glad they did!

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
evil_little_dog
Sep. 2nd, 2013 01:53 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you had a chance to meet your brother and his family! That's so cool. And that it went well, on top of it.
cornerofmadness
Sep. 2nd, 2013 03:14 am (UTC)
I'm very glad you got to meet your brother and that it went well. (and found out your restaurant was moving). I'm glad someone got something from ancestry.com (I can't even find relatives I have paperwork for)

good luck on whatever you decide about telling/not telling Mom
sillymagpie
Sep. 2nd, 2013 07:44 am (UTC)
I'm glad it all went well. Your mom's old enough to be able to handle the news that you're seeing your brother, but what you decide is up to you.

Baby Kay's is moving? Well, at least they're still in business!
ljs
Sep. 2nd, 2013 10:08 am (UTC)
What a wonderful meeting for you. [hugs]
typographer
Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:28 pm (UTC)
What!? I missed this! I recall past comments about your search for the half-brother, but I totally missed the news of contact!

I'm glad things went well.

Good luck with Mom, whatever you decide.

Could you pull off a casual, "You'll never guess what message I got on Facebook..." as a lead-in?
wildrider
Sep. 2nd, 2013 10:27 pm (UTC)
It was this entry, then more information in the comments as I answered them.

Thanks. :)

I have to think about it. Certainly when "what are you doing for Thanksgiving?" comes up!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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