It has been a Christmas that will linger in our memories for many years to come. Petite Fille was showered with gifts for her first Christmas, we met Daughter2’s Beau who is as wonderful as she described, but perhaps the most memorable thing will be that Mr FD gained a brother. How you may wonder, considering both his parents are deceased?
It is an older brother, actually. An older half-sibling. Mr FD’s father never mentioned it to him, but we knew very late in life that there had been an early first marriage in England during the war due to the arrival of a child. The story goes that The Old Man suspected the child was not his, but it took eight years before being egged on by an evil sister for him to he declare the child was not his and so departed to the colonies as a ten pound pom. He never made contact with the child again…
As I wrote, we only found out in the last decade, but knew no details – no names certainly. Through LinkedIn the daughter of the half brother made contact as she thought some facts added up and lo and behold, a big brother made contact this Christmas.
He is 75 years of age, and suffered a dreadful childhood, though went on to an academic career in an area not all that different to Mr FD’s field. He has one daughter, who in turn has one child. He always wondered what happened to his father…
How can people turn their backs so easily on children? I don’t know if he has taken any comfort in being told that he didn’t miss out on much of a father anyway!
“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.”
― André Malraux
Obviously snobbery, face saving, rigid cultural mores and shame led him to abandon a child, but it has always been beyond my understanding. I know people do it everyday of the week, but to hide the facts, the very existence of a child who was your son, knew you as his father and bears your name, is just indescribably heartless. Not that I was ever surprised to hear he did – and in fact did the same to the family here in Australia for several years before a reconciliation.
It just goes to show that the truth will always out in the end. The Old Man hid his early “mistakes”, and yet now, now that he can no longer control facts or versions of the story, it has all come tumbling out. As we all agreed, the man is dead and we are still handling his messes.
On the positive side, while we have only communicated via email with attached photos to date, all seems to be progressing well, and Mr FD is quite intrigued by the existence of an older brother (and we feel sure he is a real brother).
I bet your Christmas surprises have dulled in comparison now!
“Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.”
― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince