Procrastination. It’s one of my favourite pastimes.
Especially on days like today; days where I’m not exactly sure how to feel or what to say.
Maybe that’s why it’s taken me so long to figure out how to write this.
He was killed nine years ago, on a highway in Nevada. I was 17.
I cried, even though he was nothing more than a name
and the DNA running through my blood.
Simply just a memory, two actually, of a cowboy who rode horses and captured geckos, and it took me nine years to figure out that I wasn’t satisfied with how little I cared.
And maybe care is the wrong word.
Because I’ve always cared about the biological father I never knew
and the family that came along with that.
But there was no time,
or that’s what everybody likes to think,
and then he was gone, and time continued to pass by.
I was bitter.
Venomous when I spoke about him.
Because he had done nothing for me.
If I hadn’t reached out when I was younger,
I wouldn’t even have the two memories that I do.
I blamed him for so much,
and his memory hurt the father that raised me,
so he became words I didn’t speak,
and one day, words I didn’t even think about.
Until last year.
I don’t know what changed.
I don’t know why suddenly, one day,
I wanted to honour the father I never knew.
But I did.
I wanted to remember him,
and remember the fact that if it wasn’t for him,
I literally wouldn’t be here today.
I know what my mom has told me,
and I know what his family has told me,
and I’ve made up the rest.
I think he was a good man,
with a lot of spirit,
and a family he loved with all his heart.
And in some way, in some part of his life,
I was part of that family.
Or that’s what I like to believe.
But maybe it’s deeper than that.
Maybe I don’t need to feel like I was part of his family,
because, in reality, I wasn’t.
We were related by blood,
but he wasn’t my father.
My step-father will always hold that name in my life,
because he’s the one who punished me when I messed up,
and who told me I could do the thing when mom said no.
He was my hero.
And that will never change.
But Leslie Ivan?
He’s the blood in my veins,
and nine years is a long time to begin to realize that,
but I’m happy that I have.
I still don’t know how to feel.
All of the above?
Maybe forgiveness? Free?
I have two memories of my biological father.
And I will never be able to make more,
but I will be able to take those two memories everywhere with me where I go,
and know that at least I had the opportunity to know as much as I did.
I’ve never visited a grave before,
but I’m going to visit his grave.
And I won’t know what to say,
and maybe I won’t say anything at all.
But we all have to start somewhere.
Maybe this is my somewhere.
Rest in peace Leslie. (March 1, 1957 – March 8, 2008)