A Very Special Gift, but Bittersweet

This is the only picture I have ever seen of my parents together and me. (I zoomed in with my camera to take this picture and the following pictures - the originals are quite small.)

Forty-something years ago, my mom was married to Frank VanC___. I was born during that first year of marriage. My parents did not have a happy marriage. They divorced after one year. Frank had issues with drugs and the ramifications of a lifestyle with drugs. He wasn't a good dad or husband at that time. My mom remarried when I was 3 yrs old and my step-dad legally adopted me. My new dad and I didn't have a great relationship and I always wondered about my biological father, Frank. I only had three very small pictures of Frank. That was my only connection to this man because legally, he had no more connection with me. As a child, I found myself staring at them wondering who this man was and what happened to him.

When I was about 19 years old, my mom helped me to try to find Frank. We found Frank's parents' phone number and called. That was the first time I had ever spoken to those grandparents. They were very sweet and asked about my life. They didn't have Frank's phone number because he had recently moved, but gave me an uncle's phone number. If I remember correctly, we did call an uncle, but I lost the courage to call Frank. Many years passed.

I don't know anything about this picture except that the man standing in front of the car is my father.

Ever since internet searches have been available, I have searched for Frank. Last summer after a Google search, I found an old address in Salem, Oregon for him and went to the house asking the resident and neighbors if they knew or had heard of Frank. No one had heard of him. On the 20th of December, I typed Van C in the search field on Facebook and scrolled through the names. I knew the names of my uncles and some of their children. I e-mailed one person whose name sounded familiar and she e--mailed me - no connection. Then I found a Facebook group for people who are connected with the Van C's. There were several Van C's listed. I joined the group and posted on the wall that I was looking for a Frank Van C.

Today, I found the answer I've been looking for. Jeff Van C. read my note on the wall and contacted me saying that Frank is his uncle. He called Robyne who is my half-sister and gave her my phone number. Within one hour of the original note from Jeff, I was on the phone speaking for the first time with my half-sister, Robyne. It was then that I found out that I had been living in the same city where my father died and was buried. Although I was not living in Oregon when he died, I was living in Oregon for many of the years he was living here.

It is sad that I never had the opportunity to see his eyes, to hear his voice, to touch his hands. But it is comforting to know that he spoke of me to his daughters. He did think of me. I wish I could have told him that I have his wavy red hair and his love for music. I always wished I could have seen his expression when telling him that he had seven grandchildren - and they are all TALL (he was 6'5").
This is the only picture I have of Frank where his eyes are open and looking at the camera. These three pictures were the only pictures I had of my biological father. I don't know how many times I looked at this picture wondering about this man who fathered me.

So finally, the missing pieces of my puzzle have been found. I don't understand why I didn't contact Frank earlier when I had the opportunity, but am thankful for the new relationships I will have now and thank God for the amazing sequence of events on this day.

This is Carrie and Robyne - my half-sisters on the day my father died.

Anonymous –   – (12/31/2008 7:33 AM)  

How did he die? And how long ago? Have you never met your sisters before?

Lostinindy  – (12/31/2008 8:41 AM)  

Life is funny sometimes how it plays out. I'm sorry that you didn't get the chance to meet your father, but how exciting to have the chance to meet your half sisters. I hope they can help you heal and start a new chapter.

Roberta  – (12/31/2008 5:08 PM)  

How precious to have these photos and that you made contact with family. I am sorry though that you didn't get to meet him face to face.
I found my birth-Mom when I was 19, and we have a relationship. But not my birth-Father. Like you I know his name and have googled it, and I wonder a bit about him.

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP