An entry for The Writers Cramp
My mom just told me the man I had called Daddy my entire life was not my real father. How was I supposed to process that?
Everybody had said I took after my dad. I had the same big ears and blue eyes. My hair was the same blond color and we both liked our eggs sunnyside up. We also had a passion for running and had jogged together everyday since I was 13. How could he not be my father?
And if he wasn’t my father, who was? Had my mom had an affair? Why did she have to tell me anyhow? I was perfectly fine with not knowing. What good could possibly come from this information?
I looked at my mother. She was sitting at the table, head in her hands, with tears streaming down her face. My dad had died a week ago and now she was ruining my memories by telling me lies about him. It had to be lies.
“Why?” I demanded. “Why are you telling me this lie? He is my father! He has always been my father!”
“No.” My mom whispered. “He has always been your daddy, but he has never been your biological father.”
“Why?! Why isn’t he my father? If he isn’t, then why do we have so many things in common? I don’t believe you!” My anger was intense. “Did you have an affair?”
“No.” Mom replied. “We couldn’t have a baby. Your dad couldn’t father a child, so we went to a fertility clinic. The sperm was donated, but you are my son in every way. You looked and acted just like your dad so it was easy to claim you were his son too. He wanted to be your biological father so we pretended he was. We made a promise to each other that if either of us died, or when you turned 18, we would tell you the truth. You will be eighteen next month, and your dad just died. I couldn’t go back on our agreement. Believe me, I didn’t want to tell you. I wish your dad was still here to help me tell you.”
My head was spinning. What am I going to do now? Why did they have to make that promise? I sat down at the table and hugged Mom. “It’s okay,” I said. “I’m just trying to get my head around it. What do you think I should do? Should I find out who my biological father is, or should I just not worry about it?”
Mom sniffed. “I guess that’s up to you. Your father and I wanted you to know in case something happened to us and you needed your genetic background for some reason.”
“What if you had both died,” I asked. “What then?”
“It’s in our will. You would have been told by our attorney.”
I sighed. “I guess I have a lot to think about.” I hugged Mom again, and went upstairs.
What would I do? “I don’t want a different father,” I mumbled to myself, as I sank down on my bed. “I want my daddy.” For the first time since Mom had told me, I felt tears welling up into my eyes, and a sob escaped my throat. Too much had happened in too little time.
What possible reason would I need to know about genetic makeup, I wondered. Taking a deep breath I got up and walked to my desk, where my computer was. Sitting down, I typed in my question. ‘Why do I need to know my genetic makeup.’
I went to a number of different sites and found a number of genetic disorders listed. Cystic fibrosis, cancer, sickle cell anemia, bleeding disorders like Hemophilia, and a host of other disorders, including mental illness, could be inherited. It seemed like if I didn’t want to know my genetic makeup for myself, I should find out about it before I had children. Not that I would have children anytime soon, I thought with a wry smile, but eventually.
I went back to my bed and lay down, putting my hands behind my head. “What next?” I muttered. “What do I do now?” I sighed. The answer to my question was going to have to wait. This wasn’t something I was going to be able to decide without careful thought.