So there was this cute as hell little bundle of a baby that would grow up to be a dashingly handsome fellow (that’s me of course in case you needed a reminder) around which our tale continues.
My Mum met another chap in due time and soon they were to be wed and it was at this point that my father decided that he was going to travel to the other side of the world chasing the American Dream so my Dad, the man Mum was about to marry, stood up and adopted me.
All three of these folks were happy with this arrangement and seeing as I was still small and clueless about such things it made no odds to me at all in fact I have no memory of any of this. I have not taken poetic licence with this story just kept it to the base facts of what happened back then but I have kept out any emotion due to the fact that it was absolutely none of my business then as it is still not now, here we had three grown ups in the seventies dealing with a situation that was still looked down upon in a huge way to the best of their abilities.
Now as the years went by I had no idea of the fuss that I had inadvertently caused when I was such a little bundle so I carried along just living a happy childhood that was full of family with me ending up being the biggest brother to five younger siblings which I enjoyed no end. There was countryside and cycling that changed into small towns and teenagers, life was indeed a pleasant ride that involved hard work but the sound base of this was family.
I never felt like I was different to my siblings as far as I was concerned we were all cut from the same cloth our Mum & Dad were, well Mum & Dad. There was the odd time I wondered why I looked a great deal more like my Mum than my Dad but this was no more than a fleeting thought that was soon dismissed from my mind, I mean why was that even an issue? most people were genetically predisposed to look more like one parent than the other anyway it’s called the stronger gene.
So time passed by marching quicker and quicker as it seems to do year by year until I was only just into my early twenties and a girl came along that I was to marry. This girl though came with a young son of about 18 months old but this did not bother me and I took him on as my own. Even when the marriage fell apart through no ones in particular fault, as many seem to do when you marry very young, I kept on seeing my son and his younger sister because I had made the choice to become part of his life and just because the genetics were not there it doesn’t mean that made us any the less the family we were.
But I am jumping forward a bit here dear reader so let us take a step back to a few months before that wedding. My parents had gone away for a well earned weekend break and my Nan (Dad’s Mum) had come up to look after my younger brothers and sisters. I took this opportunity to proudly introduce my son to her taking him down to meet her one summers lunchtime. As we sat there chatting away with my boy bouncing around on my knee Nan said casually,
“Oh you were about this age when I first met you”
My world fell apart inside in an instant at the implication of that sentence.
I loved my Nan dearly and there is not a shred of doubt in my mind that she loved me dearly too so there was not one ounce of malicious intent in what she had said that day, oh no she just thought that I knew I was adopted, that at the age of 21 I had been told of the fact. Of course though you may have figured out that I had not.
So what could I do? I did not want to upset her by asking about the true meaning of what she had just said in fact knowing the type of person that she was it would have destroyed her to realise in that moment what she had done so I carried on with our lunch and as soon as I could I said our goodbyes then headed home.
Talk about a whirlwind of emotions that were cascading through my head at this point! I felt sick, confused, a little angry but most of all I was questioning whether or not I had heard her correctly?
Deep down I knew indeed that I had so what was I supposed to do to confirm this world changing information? Mum & Dad were away for another day and there was no way of contacting them because mobile phones were not about at this point. I could not recall where they were staying and even if I could what would calling them on a rare weekend away accomplish? No I needed to speak to them face to face but I wanted to know before then if what I thought here was true.
I didn’t want to call my other Nan (Mums Mum) as I thought it might upset her so I called my Auntie (Mums sister) and casually mentioned what Nan had said to me to which upon hearing it she panicked saying I needed to speak to my Mum the quickly gave me half a dozen reasons about why she needed to be off of the phone and hung up.
Looking back that must have been a horrible thing for her to go through as well having her nephew on the line asking her to confirm or deny one of the families deepest secrets for which this had indeed become after it had been hidden for so long.
Her general panic though had told me all I needed to know which settled my mind along with my stomach leaving me just wondering why no one had ever said anything about it?
So I settled into a 36 hour wait for my parents to get home so I could talk to them face to face…