More than once, I’ve discovered that I had relatives that I had no idea that I had. It has always been a surprise to me when this happens, but it usually turns into a pleasant surprise.
The first time I recall happened around1972. At the time, my mother was a Realtor, so I was used to coming in to find strangers sitting at the table. That particular day, I came in to find a big guy sitting there. He looked like he could have been a linebacker for the Green Bay Packers; very stoutly built, good looking, and about a dozen years older than me.
Mom said, “Honey, I want you to meet your brother, Dave.”
I said, “Hi, brother Dave,” shook his hand and walked on to my bedroom. We had a large number of good friends who were Modoc Indians or Klamath Indians and Mom referred to them as brothers and sisters, so the term, “Brother Dave” had no impact. When the guy left, I went out and asked who that was. She again repeated, “That was your brother, Dave.” She saw the confusion since I only have one brother and his name is Steve. So she finally explained the whole story.
My mother and father fought often and it did sometimes come to blows. Mom was a hefty 220-pound Indian woman who could pretty easily whomp someone’s butt. Dad was a life-long heavy equipment operator and he had a tremendous upper-body strength. Had he wanted to, he could have picked Mom up as effortlessly as I’d pick up a 10-pound bag of sugar. So it was an even match if they started swinging fists. Each of those fights usually ended up in Mom leaving. The worst fights ended up in a divorce. The freaky thing is that they divorced and remarried each other five times! after one of the last divorces, Mom became pregnant with Dave. Dad forced Mom to give Dave up for adoption since it wasn’t Dad’s child, but that was where Dave came from. He really was my half-brother and he is a very good, hard-working individual.
The second time it happened, I actually knew about the individual, though I never thought I’d meet him. In my wife’s rebellious teen years, she got together with a black man and ended up pregnant. I knew about this before I ever married her. The boy was also given up for adoption because Ella had no way to raise him. With the help of his girlfriend, he tracked Ella down. He found out that she’d married me, then found me on FaceBook and introduced himself. We later got to meet him and he is also a great guy. I”m not really related to him by blood, but I like him.
It has happened a third time, again through FaceBook. I got a message from a guy who identified himself as my nephew. Judging from his birth year, he would have been conceived with my brother (Steve) was 20. It took him this long and DNA tests to track down Steve though a nephew I did know about. Steve didn’t even know about Tanner until contact was made. It was an event that occurred 49 years ago. Tanner lives in Montana and will be visiting us on the weekend of the 23rd. He’s bringing me a bunch of venison, elk, and I’m not sure what else. I really look forward to the visit.
Have you ever discovered that you had a relative you never knew that you had?
Yes, and I’ve met the relative