There are many people who grow up not knowing both their parents. This is Carol’s story.
Carol’s mum, Jan, had a fling with a serviceman stationed in the UK and he was back home in the USA by the time she found she was pregnant. Attempts to get in touch were, sadly, intercepted.
Jan eventually married Keith who became Carol’s stepfather. The marriage lasted only a few years but Jan married again and Carol had another stepfather, Kevin. She was a stroppy teenager and admits that her behaviour was mostly down to unhappiness about not knowing her dad and having to accept two stepfathers she didn’t really warm to. She herself got married in her twenties and had two children but the marriage failed. As her 40th birthday loomed, she was still troubled despite the fact she had a new man in her life. She really wanted to find her dad but was nervous of how her mum would feel.
One day, with her mum’s encouragement, using an ancestry website and facebook she found her dad, in only a few hours. She messaged him and got a reply. She also discovered three half-siblings and her children have a new grandfather. Carol is going to visit later this year. She is euphoric and now feels complete.
Carol’s life seemed to be full of important male figures leaving her. Her dad, her adored grandfather who died when she was 10, her first stepfather and her husband. But now things have turned round, she has a wonderful new man and her dad is back in her life. Jan and Carol know they should have had ‘that conversation’ a long time ago but both were afraid of upsetting each other.
Had social networking existed 40 years ago, maybe Jack and Jan would have kept in touch and things might have been different. But it has finally reunited a father and daughter and things look really promising for the future. Jan always felt guilty about denying Carol her dad and made extra allowances for her. But the lesson here is, don’t prejudge people’s reactions and have those awkward conversations. It could be that the other person is just as nervous and the relief of being able to talk freely can be immense. And don’t be afraid to take a leap into the future which could be very bright indeed.