Monday, May 4, 2009

Life is strange.

As I grew into a strapping young man, through trials, tribulations (what the hell is a tribulation anyway?) and other life hurdles, I always had in the back of my mind the notion that I would be better than my parents.  I would be different.  I would never be as selfish and negative.

I grew up being one of the “Marrying Kind”.  I always liked the idea of the “perfect union”, the picketed fence, the two kids, the dog, the yard.  It never really found me until I moved to Victoria, got my own place, and settled down.  As a bachelor for a few years, luck never seemed to go my way.  I never really had a girlfriend… didn’t all through high school.  It wasn’t till I was in my mid 20s that I started seeing somebody.  After a few unsuccessful attempts at relationships, I eventually found a very (I mean VERY) young girl who seemed to think that I was kind of nice too.  She was a cute little thing and we had quite the flinging good time together.  We eventually decided to get married and with the 50 % permission of her parents (her mother seemed to hate me) we were wed soon after her 19th birthday.  I was 25, an underachiever, and fairly broke, but I gathered as much “gumption” I could and kept the bills paid, food on the table and that roof up above.  We struggled as she tried to search her niche out, and soon the bump in her belly ended her career search.  We had our Son in September of ’93 and were as happy as could be… for a time, anyways.  As time went on, however, things seemed to grow colder between us; my friends wouldn’t “hang” with hers and “hers” with mine.  Eventually I came home one day to the “Letter”.  The “Letter” stated that she was through with me: I was no good, she was taking our son and leaving.

My bitterness seemed to know no ends.  I wanted to be married.  I didn’t want my son to have the same crappy life that I remember; living between parents.  She left me with no reason.  I didn’t cheat, like my father had.  I didn’t drink all the money away.  I didn’t beat her.  What did I do wrong?  I may never really know.

The custody date came and went.  She, having no penis and no visible track-marks up her arm, won full custody (as she asked, and her mother’s lawyer demanded!)  I was allowed visitation rights and child-support payments.  Eventually I was “allowed” to see my son once, on her birthday in 1995 to baby-sit for her to be able to play.  This was the last time I saw my baby boy.  We had a great time together, “G” and I.  He was a quiet, shy, baby, but could be brought to such contagious laughter!  I remember the tears and heartache I felt when I took him back to his mother’s.  I couldn’t go through that again.

It was then that I made the most difficult decision of my life.  Many of you will disagree with this choice I made, thinking it foolish, selfish and cruel, but I swear that this was for the best: I chose to never see or communicate with my son “G” again. 

I recall the bitterness from my own mother, as she spoke to me of my “jerk of a Father”.  I remember the prodding questions, “What kind of house are they in?” ”What kind of car does she drive?”  I remember waiting impatiently riding my bike up and down the street, waiting for him to come and pick me up and take me away.  I remember taking the Greyhound once a summer to visit him, only to feel frustrated and bitter when I got to his house.  The same kinds of questions were at his end, “How’s your step dad?” “What kind of junk has he bought now?”  These may have been innocent questions to them, but for me at the time, they were inquisitions that left nothing but pain and resentfulness.

I would NOT let this happen to my son.  …At least not from my side.  If my “ex” bad talked me to him, said that I abandoned him, called me a liar, traitor, jerk or asshole, I would not be able to defend myself to him.  I could let that happen.  I wouldn’t be able to dispute this, but at the same time, I wouldn’t be able to stoop down to that level.  I would never be filling his head with the lies or self-loathing talk that would be bound to happen.  I wanted to be able to be proud of my actions in the end, not ashamed…

Eventually my bitterness towards all women subsided.  I met, fell in love with, and remarried my wife of 13 years.  We have a beautiful boy, “H”, and are quite content.  Through her initial struggle, carrying me while I sought out the good job that I now have, we now are doing as well as can be.  “H” goes to his grandparents in Japan every year.  We are managing to stay ahead of the “Joneses”, and keep are noses clean.  We have planned out our lives to retirement and beyond.

Some time ago.  Before I got married again.  I remember a conversation with my good friend Brian.  I recall trying to convince him (more myself) that things between myself and my son “G” would prove to be OK.  “G” would find me when he was ready.  It might take years, decades, but it would happen.  I had this feeling that when he turned 16 he would want to “find” himself.  He’d want to meet his real dad.

Got a strange phone call last week.  It wasn’t expected for about a years’ time, but nonetheless it came.  I didn’t quite have a bet running with my friends, but I should have.  It was about 4 pm and I got a call from a local area cell-phone.  I answered.  The (young male) voice asked “Is this Morgan Onda”?  “Yes”….  “Hmmm”?  Very strange!  Twenty seconds later: same number rings again.  (Same young man’s voice)  “Is this Morgan Onda”?  “Hello, yes.”  “Do you know a ‘G’?”  “Yes, I do”.  “He wants to talk to you”, followed by a fumbling of a phone, then a deeper voice saying “Hi, it’s me”.  One of his friends told him he needed to find his dad.  I am so glad he did.

The two boys get along great!  They love the idea of having an instant brother, one 10, the other 15.  So far “G” visits a lot, goes home and doesn’t talk much.  I keep my head clear and logical.  I want to know everything!  But keep a closed eye to the other side: I don’t need to open up old wounds.  I hope the other side can do the same.

This is my weird life, and it’s good!


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