she admired me. Well, actually she said to me, You have more balls than anyone else I know. And these were strong words for her because she grew up in an era when women didn’t talk in a vulgar way. She felt proud of me for trying to find my biological father. I was a young woman in my mid twenties, just trying to find out the circumstances of my birth. Old enough to bear the truth. Here is how this came to be.
It all started with the bombing of Iran. My husband and I, who were living in Heidelberg, Germany at the time were scared for my son’s safety. It was an uncertain time, when American’s were a likely target. We lived in military housing not too far from downtown on Kirschgartenstrasse. Very close to the military headquarters. Russ was in elementary school, third grade and I was scared. Russ and I flew home to stay with Billy’s parents in Arkansas. Just until it was safer in Germany.
Staying in Arkansas was uneventful. 6 weeks after arriving, Russ finished out the school year and we were both getting pretty restless, we headed up to Ohio to visit some of my family. Things were settling down overseas. Soon we would be returning to Heidelberg, but a change of scenery would be nice.
Once my son and I were in Ohio, I decided to take advantage of the timing and situation. I looked up any information I could about my biological father who I had never met. He had never acknowledged my existence. Keeping things simple I looked up his name in the phone book. Even though I couldn’t find him in the phone book, I did find a similar name of someone who could have been my Uncle. Turns out he worked right up the street from where I was staying with my Grandma on Deeds Ave. and it was within easy walking distance.
Walking up to his place of business, I concentrated on getting one foot in front of the other. Listening to my breathing and my mind screaming, Got nothing, might not get anything but I will know something for sure. This place was just a small business located on Stanley Ave. not too far from I-75. Wow, what a moment when I realized where the business was located. The very same place that when I was in high school, my boyfriend and I had parked and necked, a lot in the very spot Dave’s business had been for years.
I walked in the front door, asked for Dave and was pointed in the right direction. I might have introduced myself and I asked him, could it be possible that we might be related. And more to the point, I asked if he thought I might have looked like his brother Robert, who (I hoped) was my father. I do know that I was breathing really shallow and was starting to get dizzy, numb for a few minutes. Sitting at the side chair of the desk, I realized here was the man who might be standing between my father and I, so I asked him if he could talk to his brother, to be a go between, maybe even arrange a meeting between the two of us.
He wouldn’t confirm anything for me. He tried to protect his brother. He was definitely reserved about the whole issue. But he did confide that he wasn’t even sure if they Dave and Bob were full brothers. Their mother had just died recently. After going through the paperwork from her death there was evidence of a previous marriage, but things had not been sorted out.
After leaving his business, I went home to meet Grandma. To tell her what had happened. She was pacing outside her duplex, waiting for me. She was anxious, pacing up and down the sidewalk. She knew, in part , what I went through in my childhood. That’s when she said “Kim you have more balls than anyone else I know”and she gathered me up into her arms and squeezed me tight to her. My grandma, she loved me like no one else. Her love made me feel strong. Her love encouraged me to do brave things. Not just because it was brave, but because my heart lead me to do brave things. To speak the truth. No matter what others said or thought, at the end of the day I shouldn’t do things just because society said I ought to, nor should I dothings just to protect other people, especially when they were being dishonest and it was at my expense.
Even though there was not a successful ending to the attempted reconnection, she was proud of me for trying. She loved me and sometimes that love was so big it hurt. It causes an ache in my heart even now. Just like the ones we get in our muscles from holding our arms up and open too long. It is still here though in my heart. And it carries me through my days.