1:55 PM - Thurs 1.14.16
Well, once again, I just lost everything I'd been writing - Only a few paragraphs, but they took me forever to write - but this time it was definitely "operator error".
I feel as if I've been "away" a long time, and while I've been "away", a pretty big development has developed - I've 'made contact' with my oldest brother Chuck, and two nieces I didn't know I had.
It all started when I got a voicemail from Tony around the middle of last week, saying "I've got some news I think you're gonna find pretty exciting...".
As it happened, Chuck's oldest daughter Ashley had contacted him on Facebook the day before.
They chatted at length, which he told me about when I called him. Then he suggested I friend her and her sister Brittany on Facebook, which I did (Chuck has four kids - three girls and a boy - who are all adults now, ranging from thirty-one to twenty-four - but so far, I've only connected with the two girls and Chuck).
So I chatted on Facebook with the two girls - singly, and in a group conversation - and they said they'd communicate with their Dad about connecting with me.
He texted me on Saturday, saying he would call the next day...but he never did (Finding the enormity-of-the-thing a little daunting at first).
In the interim, he and Tony had a long talk (They knew each other for a time "back in the day", but hadn't spoken in almost 25 years), and Tony called me afterward, somewhat shaken by the experience, confessing early in the conversation, "I've been drinking...".
Tony grew up not knowing he had three half-brothers, until he was a teenager, and one of them (Craig, aka "Poor Dead Kelly") died...which is when he first met Chuck.
(Even then, she didn't tell him about me - Tony didn't know I existed until I communicated with him four or five years ago - Turns out Mom is very big on withholding information, which I'll get to in a bit. But anyway...)
When Tony met Chuck, he was a wild teen, and Chuck (Who'd ended up in foster care at five) was a full-on junkie and drug-dealer. They "partied together" some, but Tony ultimately rejected Chuck, based in large part on something our mother told him, which was that Chuck had come to her trailer one day and hit her up for drug money.
But Chuck had some stories that, for Tony, had the ring of truth (As he said to me afterward, "Far as I know, Chuck's never lied to me, and I know my mother has").
And the stories Chuck told were tough stories to hear - The reason Chuck and Craig went into foster care (I think I was out of the picture at this point) was because our mother would just lock them in the trailer while she went out drinking and carousing, and during one of those episodes, Chuck and Craig managed to get out, and were wondering around the trailer park, naked.
So they were taken away, put - I believe - in the custody of their aunt, with Mom having visiting rights on weekends.
And during one of those weekends, Mom kidnapped them.
She was found with them six weeks later, in Tennessee. And while she somehow avoided jail, the court decided she was done being their mother.
And the episode where Chuck hit her up for drug money?
Chuck's side of the story is that he was there asking her about his background, and in particular, about who his father was (In my conversation with Chuck, he mentioned saying some angry things to her in the past, but I don't remember if it was specifically regarding this incident, or another time).
Like Tony, given the choice between believing someone who has no reason to lie - what would he gain? - and someone you know has lied to you (Our mother kept me in the dark about who my father was for over twenty years), I'm going with Chuck on this one.
(To Be Continued...)
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