Inherit The Wind
Longing inspires many things – stories, poems, songs, journeys and from time to time – leaps into the vast unknown. Longing gnaws, knocks and batters the heart and mind until the only thing left is change or acceptance. So it is with the longing I have carried in my heart from my early years to know my biological father. I didn’t know my father, except in name. Many decades of feeling incomplete have been endured due to a young woman, a war (Vietnam) and circumstances that no one could foresee.
It was the early 60s. Wayne was from a small town, the new kid in town getting training in mechanics through the Manpower program. She was a young waitress. Every morning for a year, they met over coffee, greasy eggs, crispy hash browns and toast. The handsome, genuine eyes, genuine laugh and smile and calming ways drew Carole in. He in turn found her interest in learning about the world somewhere, anywhere else charming.
When he asked her for a date somewhere other than the diner, she was surprised to find no hesitation. Laughter, cruising and dancing became a regular event. Winter turned into spring and the winds of war blew. He weighed the value of marriage vs the call of country and honoring his military heritage. Why not both, Wayne asked himself. With a simple gold band and a few dollars, he proposed and to his surprise, she said yes. Carole began planning a small wedding: justice of the peace, a simple dress and a few friends and family. One day the calls, visits to the diner and surprise visits stopped. Carole asked herself what she had done wrong; they hadn’t argued. She slowly gave up her dreams – until the letter came. “Dear Carole, I know that you may not understand my choice and I don’t expect you to forgive me. My country needs me and I need to serve it. My draft notice arrived last week. I didn’t know how to tell you. I hope you will wait for me so we can resume our lives when I get back.”
Carole folded and refolded the letter, rubbing her swollen belly. She didn’t know if he would make it back, so what was the purpose of writing back? In fact, it would only hurt her more. Her child would be born with a father in name only. When her baby girl was born, she contacted Wayne’s parents to let them know about the arrival of their 1st grandchild. She heard nothing.
The pressures of being a young, unwed waitress caught up with Carole and she decided that her baby girl would be best served by being raised by her maternal grandparents. Her role was relegated to that of a family friend.
FAST FORWARD TO 6 MONTHS AGO
*I decided to attempt to find my biological father for the purpose of knowing his medical history. I have reached a point at which answering “I don’t know” to a whole battery of family risk factors is too uncomfortable not to make the attempt. I believe I have found him. I have contacted him with my name, my mother’s and grandparent’s names and photos of both him and my mom together and myself. I don’t expect a relationship but even a small amount of information would help to fill in some blanks. If nothing ensues, well I won’t know anything less than I do know.* Why did I wait so long to try to find him? Out of concern. Not just concern about him rejected me but also a hesitation on my part to disrupt whatever family he may have raised by appearing unbidden on the scene.
This is my bold step and if nothing materializes, at least I tried and that is what counts. What would longing make you do?
© 2012 by Paulissa Kipp
I am a Curious Lens Goddess, Writer and Artist documenting the world – the beautiful, curious and often overlooked. I see the infinitely layered world not only with my eyes, but most importantly, with my heart. Find me on Google+: https://plus.google.com/116071275946594200077?rel=author