I always have an emotionally rough go from the end of September until the end of November. These months are the time I think of my father the most. This year specifically, since September 19th, I have been trying my best to find the good in the memories of my father. I know he wasn’t a bad person. I just felt wasn’t the dad I wanted or needed growing up.
Besides the occasional photo I have of my father, I don’t have much to remember him by. I kept a couple of golf clubs, some tools, a hat and an ashtray. I was given his wedding ring and his ruby ring when he passed away. So I have been wearing them around my neck for the past couple of weeks.
I always remember him wearing these rings on his ring finger. They never came off. That is something I have taken to in my life as well. My wedding ring has been on my finger since 2001. I have not taken it off for longer than a few minutes at a time. Mostly to clean it or check it’s shape.
Wearing them around my neck, I have held them periodically in my hand. I’m not quite sure what I’m looking for by having them. But I as I said, I am trying to focus on more positive thoughts. Perhaps there is a mystical power of the ruby or even the gold that I am trying to conjure.
I know that when I think of the ruby and gold, it reminds me of the bohemian glasses my grandfather brought from Czechoslovakia back in the 80’s for my father. Those are the only glasses I wish to have in my possession one day. Currently those are with my mother. I hope that she will gift them to me at some point. As I mentioned, I don’t have much from my father.
But his rings are important to me. This is the longest I have worn them and I really want to discovery the positivity of their symbolism.
I’m turning 42 in two months. Of all the things in my life that have made me who I am, one event still surfaces randomly in my mind. I was 13 or 14 when I found out that my father had a family prior to the one I was a part of in my life. He was married at one point when he lived in Czechoslovakia. He had a daughter and wife whom he left behind before coming to Canada.
He started a new family out here and I was born. Then four years later, I had a sister. It was all that I knew for most of my childhood. Never was it mentioned until my father returned from a trip to his old hometown with some old Czech buddies. Suddenly there was an entire aspect of my father that shocked me. Here were photos of a young lady in her early 20’s hanging out with my father. An older sister I never knew about prior to that moment. Turns out she also had a son. I was now an uncle?
Years have gone by since that moment when everything changed. No longer was it just me and my little sister- there was now another person that was related to us whom we would never meet. But nothing ever really changed. A couple of years after the “big announcement”, this older sister was never mentioned again. That’s where it ends.
As I’ve grown up into an adult and father myself- I have made sure to put my children first. I have become a role model and shown much love and respect to my kids. This half sister (my children’s half aunt, I guess) in another country isn’t spoken of very often. My children know about her, the same as I do: She is a person whom was born to my father and got left behind.
As I think about her, I also don’t know how I feel about her. It’s been nearly 30 years since I found out and I have no urgent desire to search for her. It also seems she has felt the same- there hasn’t been any contact from her end. My mother doesn’t speak of her either because she feels it’s not her place.
In the end, the facts and the idea of a long lost sister died with my father back in November 2000. No crazy mission to find her. No Hollywood ending reuniting us. That’s all folks.