Tag Archives: family

A Wild Update Appears

I haven’t posted in a long time and I thought I might give any readers I still have an update.

Work:

I applied at a different hospital system and was offered a position. Nothing will be final until July, but I will be traveling back and forth between both hospitals for a bit. I look at this as an exciting new adventure, one where I am still unsure what exactly will happen. As both hospitals are in California, it’s not going to be a cross-country flight. I am still looking for opportunities on the East coast, but they appear to be few and far between. 

Family:

My cousin had her baby, Adela Ksenia October 3. She’s adorable and I love her so much, even if she did poop on me. She has been crying quite a bit, but hopefully that will subside in the next few weeks. The house has definitely changed with a baby around. I was a bit sick (an understatement) over the weekend and was quarantined to my room for fear I would make Adela sick as well. As soon as I’m better, I plan on playing with her again. It makes me a little baby crazy, but since I know that isn’t going to happen, I have relegated myself to being the best cousin/aunt replacement I can be! 

Personal:

I have been a bit scattered lately. Work has stretched me thin and with the baby I have added a new set of responsibilities to my already hectic life. My personal relationships are always strained, but they have become even more so these last few months. I very much miss the handful of people I haven’t had time for and hope they know that I still care about them a great deal. My life is hard on friendships, which is why I do cherish the few close friends I have. 

A friend of mine recently asked me if I had ever considered corresponding with someone who is incarcerated. I told her that, honestly, it had never even crossed my mind. This particular friend is a counselor to inmates predominantly on the East coast, but she has also worked with people all over the country. She explained to me that these people often feel forgotten about and just need something positive in their life. After knowing me for so many years, she thought that I would be a good person to ask. So, after thinking about it for a few days, I agreed to do it. I have set up a P.O. box (which made me feel oddly adult) and have written five letters to several inmates around the US. It will be an interesting experience I’m sure and I will keep everyone posted regarding any responses I receive. 

 

Onward and Upward

A few days ago I was discussing with a friend our futures. Would we ever get married? Be parents? Where would we be living in 10 years? It was a little disconcerting, considering my preference for planning my life in advance, that I didn’t exactly know what my future had in store for me.

I asked my much more laid-back friend, “Would you want to know exactly how your future is going to unfold?”

“Nahhh, I kind of like surprises,” was his response.

This threw me for a loop, because I would want to have a detailed itinerary emailed  to me every week. Knowing the minute details of my daily life would be something of a thrill for me. Being able to plan well in advance for situations would be a life saver! The orange juice commercials, where the consumer is sitting at the table with all of their “problems” for the day, is an obsessive compulsive planners fantasy.

I wondered if my friend was in the majority. Do most people want to keep an element of surprise in their day-to-day routine? How many people would choose to gaze into their future, if they found out the exact circumstances of their death? Perhaps that is the kicker, death. If you know when and how you’re going to die, you might live your life differently. I would assume that being privy to that sort of information might drastically change your personality and the way you interacted with people. This sort of information could be the reason that certain people would choose not to have their future unfolded before them.

As a planner, worrier and obsessive compulsive, however, I am practically frothing at the mouth for a chance to look into tea leaves and divine my future. I would ultimately hope the tea leaves showed something positive and in-line with how I anticipate my future will be. If everything goes according to plan, I would end up divining a future like:

2-3 years: married to the love of my life, work towards a 4 day work week, discussing adoption
4 years: completion of contracted work in California, quick sell of my current home, purchase a vacation home on Catalina Island, move back to NYC or Toronto,  begin renovation on the West Village building in NYC, begin the adoption process
5-6 years:  adopt a child/children (hopefully male twins), work towards a 2-3 day work week
7-8 years: complete the renovation on the West Village building, spend a year living abroad with my family, begin the transition to open my bakery (test recipes, research supply companies etc..)
9-10 years: begin consulting for hospitals 1-2 days a week, finally open my bakery, enjoy being a mother/wife/small business owner

An idyllic plan that will hopefully be put into action within the coming years!

Question(s): What about you? Would you choose to view your entire future if given the chance? Is there anything you wouldn’t want to know?

Found: The Perfect Sunday

Last weekend, I found the elusive “Perfect Sunday.” It occurred when I was visiting the Lake of the Ozarks with family. Most of my Sunday’s back home in California consist of fitting all the errands I couldn’t find time for in the week, into a single day. They are normally not relaxing and they definitely do not prepare me for the work-week ahead of me. This particular Sunday, however, was quite different.

I woke up around 8:30 a.m., and was actually able to stay in bed until 9:30 a.m. The bed was warm and the breeze from the open window kept the room at a perfect temperature. Around 9:45 a.m., I made my way downstairs and there was tea brewing, lox, tartines and fruit. All I had to do was fill my plate. I made tartines w/ schmear (lox/capers/chive cream cheese), had a cup of proper tea and mounded a bowl with delicious fruit. After grabbing my Nook and setting up camp by the fire pit, I spent at least an hour reading by the fire. I didn’t even notice my family was gone until about 20 minutes in and even so, I just continued to relish my time.

After breakfast, I went for a quick run (only 2 miles) since I didn’t really know my way around and then soaked in the massive tub for a bit. By the time I had finished my bath, my family had returned from their errands and had set about cleaning up breakfast. I dressed in something warm (it was really chilly) and joined them downstairs. Instead of television or video games, my mother broke out the board games. We played a game I had never heard of called “Farkle.” Needless to say, I won. That is, until my father had a ridiculous “hand” and rolled four consecutive times for a grand total of 2,600 points. He edged me out by 200 points and danced around the table for a good 5 minutes. When we tired of Farkle, I suggested Catch Phrase and the game lasted at least an hours. My mother and I versus my brother and my dad. It took my mother a bit to get in a groove, but once she did we were unstoppable. The two of us easily won and my mother said that meant we got to pick whatever movies we wanted.

While I went through our DVD’s, my mother made hot chocolate and Nutella crackers. I ended up choosing, The Apartment and my mother picked Miracle. Even though I’m not a fan of sports films, it was nice to spend time with my family. We casually talked with each other throughout the movie and hearing my family talk about my uncle really helped. For the first time I felt like I was really able to grieve and my family was there to comfort me.

When the movies ended, it was late into the afternoon and we needed to head home. Even though I didn’t have to work the next day, my family did. We packed everything into the car (including one very rambunctious miniature pinscher). On the drive home I listened to music and read. My brother fell asleep with the dog on his lap and my mother graded papers. The car ride was silent, except when we stopped for ice cream at this tiny stand by the road. They had this delicious salted butterscotch sundae and I was in heaven all the way home.

Pulling into the driveway of my parents house, I felt relaxed and oddly contented. Though I had dreaded spending a weekend stuck at the Lake of the Ozarks with my family, it turned out it was exactly what I needed. The entire weekend went famously and I have to admit that I was a little sad to leave.

I know that we will be leaving for New Jersey soon and the weight of the situation will hit me when I actually see my uncles family. My hope for them is that they can still have what I had this weekend, even without my uncle. What I don’t want to happen is that their family disintegrates because of the stress that comes with his passing. I hope that they can find comfort in each other and understand that the bonds they share with each other are unlike anything else.

I am exact and merciless, but I love you

When I was still living in New York City, one of my uncles would always take me to McCarren Park to people watch. We would play games, eat mazurka and watch pick-up baseball games in the afternoon. Anytime he visited us in the city, he would spend the most amount of time with me. He didn’t speak a bit of Polish, but he was very patient with me. I taught him some basic phrases in Polish and he would help me with my ESL work. Even though he was in no way related to me, he always treated me like one of his own children and I enjoyed spending time with him.

The last time I was in NYC, I called him and we went to lunch in Greenpoint. It was nice to see him again, but he looked extremely tired. When it came time to order, he just asked for a salad and I knew something was definitely wrong. I asked him how he was feeling and he mentioned that he had not been given very good news during his last visit to the doctor. He went on to tell me that he was diagnosed with atherosclerosis on top of his diabetes. He had suffered two minor heart attacks since I had last seen him and his prognosis was not promising. I was upset at the thought of losing someone so dear to me and it was hard for me to leave him back in NYC.

A month ago, my aunt called me to let me know that my uncle was doing worse. He had also suffered a stroke and was having difficulties remembering basic things. Even though I had prepared myself and told myself that he could pass away at any time, hearing that his health had failed him even more was disheartening. I thought of my uncle, so vibrant in McCarren Park while we played tag. I remembered all the amazing times I had with him and it was hard to think that such a light would finally go out.

On September 6, I received the phone call that I had dreaded. My uncle had passed away, a heart attack early in the morning. Though it was not shocking news, it was news I didn’t want to hear so soon. It took awhile for it to sink in, I think mostly due to the distance between myself and my family. As I often do, I turned to books to find the words for how I was feeling. I came across a collection of Walt Whitman’s poems and searched for the one that I knew would help me more than any other.

Every time I lose someone close to me, it reminds me of Whitman’s “To One Shortly to Die,” which is one of my favourite poems. If you haven’t read it:

From all the rest I single out you, having a message for you,
You are to die—let others tell you what they please, I cannot
     prevaricate,
I am exact and merciless, but I love you—There is no escape for
     you.

Softly I lay my right hand upon you, you just feel it,
I do not argue, I bend my head close and half envelope it,
I sit quietly by, I remain faithful,
I am more than nurse, more than parent or neighbor,
I absolve you from all except yourself spiritual bodily, that is
eternal, you yourself will surely escape,
The corpse you will leave will be but excrementitious.

The sun bursts through in unlooked-for directions,
Strong thoughts fill you and confidence, you smile,
You forget you are sick, as I forget you are sick,
You do not see the medicines, you do not mind the weeping
friends, I am with you,
I exclude others from you, there is nothing to be commiserated,
I do not commiserate, I congratulate you.

This poem has always given me some form of comfort, the type of comfort that can only come from words. The nature of the poem, confronting the truth, head-on and then offering comfort after. It is the perfect poem for the solitude that one seeks after the death of someone you care about and it will, hopefully, offer me solace once again.

This May Be Uncomfortable to Read

It was uncomfortable for me to write, but I felt the need to move past a subject that was regarded by my parents as “taboo.” Growing up, we were never allowed to speak about it. We were restricted from discussing it with friends, family members outside of our immediate circle and even significant others. The fact that none of my family (save one brother) know that this blog exists, is the only reason I can even begin to consider writing this post. It has taken me 10 years, at least three blogs and countless hours of fighting with myself to put “pen to paper” in regards to the subject of money.

I would rather discuss sexual conquests, bodily functions and past indiscretions than talk about money. My parents made broaching the subject around the dinner table forbidden and went so far as to declare it “off limits” in the company of others. It was the one topic we could not pick and the single most awful word we could utter. To this day I believe that my parents would rather us discuss sexual acts at length, than bring up our finances.

My parents went to great lengths to hide their wealth. Traveling to Europe/Asia became “visiting family on the East coast.” Large purchases were hidden and spread between multiple properties. When people asked about our life in Poland we were told not to talk about the people who had worked for us. It became some sort of Anonymity Game, one that forced us to lie and hide our lives from those we trusted.  I grew up terrified that I would let slip something that would get back to my parents and I would quickly change the subject if anyone asked about something remotely related.

I have always wondered why my parents were so uncomfortable with the subject. I tried to discuss it with my father when I was in college, but he told me that it wasn’t something he wanted to discuss with me when I was older. After I completed my residency, I asked him again and this time he told me that he was too busy. The way he was unable talk about our finances made me feel ashamed and embarrassed.

Sitting around a table with my friends from medical school, they would freely discuss their student loans. They even went so far as to mention the raw figures and how they planned to pay them off. Not a single one of them was finishing medical school without debt. Except me. I had not been forced to pay a penny for my education. It wasn’t because of scholarships or some mysterious benefactor, it was because my parents had simply taken out their checkbooks. When my turn came, I offered a quick, “To hell student loans!” which garnered laughter instead of more questions. With their attention diverted, I went back to contemplating how they were so comfortable discussing their financial situations. I envied them and I wanted to take part in the discussion, but I didn’t want to seem privileged.

When I was 14, my parents forced me to get a job over the summer. Not a job with a family member in an air-conditioned office, but a job where I actually worked. It was miserable and I hated it, but each time I was paid my parents would ferret the money away in an account they had set up for me. This continued throughout high school and only stopped when I applied to medical school.

The year I turned 16, my parents gave me the keys to my first car. All of my friends expected that I would be given whatever car I wanted and I have to admit that I was kind of hoping that was the case. Instead, when they opened the garage door, there sat a beat up 1987 Camaro. I don’t know why, but I was ecstatic about my car. When I drove it to school the first day after break, my friends were more surprised than I was. They asked me why parents hadn’t just purchased me a new car. I would respond, sounding like a clone of my parents, “Because I don’t need a new car for my first car, I need to learn how to drive.”

After coming back from a trip to Europe over the summer of my junior year, I was telling my best friend about all the places we went. My mother overhead me and called me downstairs. She told me that I wasn’t suppose to tell people what we had done. By this point I was fed-up with the situation and I told her that no one believed me when I said we just went to New Jersey. She told me that I shouldn’t act so privileged and that it was time for my friend to go home.

What it boils down to is that I have never wanted to be viewed as privileged, but I also want to be able to talk about my experiences. I have always felt there is such a stigma toward children from families who are considered wealthy. We are often stereotyped as lazy, arrogant and, more often than not, unintelligent. We are constantly told that we “just don’t understand” because we were raised differently. We are made to feel bad about enjoying what has been given to us, that which our parents have worked so hard for. It makes for awkward, uncomfortable social situations and I would usually just try to avoid them all together.

Writing this post was extremely uncomfortable. What should have only taken an hour to type, ended up taking several hours. I was constantly deleting anecdotes and rephrasing things because I didn’t want to offend anyone. I feel like I should write a post apologizing for having money and begging forgiveness from those who are not as fortunate as I. The thought of posting this made me anxious and I considered deleting it entirely. I didn’t even allow myself to go onto the kind of detail I wanted, due to some sort of psychological barrier my parents installed when I was younger. The only reason I am able to click the “Publish” button is because I know that the internet offers some anonymity.

So I guess that, in some respects, I am still playing the Anonymity Game with myself.

Oh Brother(s)

My family has always been important to me. They have supported me throughout the majority of my life and I always knew that I could count on them if I needed help. That isn’t to say that they were always physically there, as I spent the majority of my childhood raised by my niania, Aija and my older brothers. My mother traveled for most of childhood and was only home 3-4 weeks out of the year. I grew up around my Aija, my grandmother and my two older brothers. My brothers, Sven and Jakob, were from my mother’s first marriage. Their father had died soon after Jakob was born and my mother had been forced to raise them herself. Like me, they had a nanny (niania) who was with them every day since my mother could not be.

Sven and Jakob were very close to each other, they were only two years apart and similar in a lot of ways. When I was born, they treated me like a younger brother and I provided them with hours of entertainment. My brothers loved to torment me and I am still surprised I survived my childhood.

Around the time I was 4-5 my mother began to take frequent trips to the US. She had met a fellow attorney on one of her trips and they soon began a long distance relationship. After a year of “dating” they flew to Italy, married and when I was seven they had my youngest brother. When Nikolas was born, they decided that it was time to move my older brothers to New York City so that the boys could grow up together. At the time, I was in Vienna so that I could attend the Wiener Staatsoper Ballettschule and when I went home during a break; my grandmother informed me that my brothers were now in America. I was fairly upset at the idea of being the only member of my family left in Europe except for family in Kraków and Świnoujście, whom I rarely saw. I went back to Vienna, upset and missing my family.

I lived in Vienna/Łódź until I was 11, at which point my mother moved me to the US as well. Even though I had missed my family, the thought of leaving Europe was terrifying. My mother had decided that it would be best for me to not know that I would be moving and for the weeks leading up to my flight my grandmother was very sullen. The day of my departure, my mother picked me up at school (which was very rare). I was so excited to see my mom that I didn’t even realize we weren’t headed back to the house until we arrived at the airport. When I saw the airport, I excitedly asked my grandmother, “Are we visiting family in Krakow?!” It was at this point that my grandmother burst into tears and I realized something was wrong. Our driver unloaded luggage from the car and we began to head inside. I kept asking my grandmother what was going on, but she just kept shaking her head and shushing me. By the time we boarded our flight I was terrified and visibly upset. My mother had still not told me where we were going and my head was swimming with possible destinations.

The flight from Łódź landed in London and it was then that my mother told me I was moving, permanently, to the US. I cried for the first few hours of the flight and then fell asleep halfway to NYC. My mother woke me up right before we landed and told me that I was going to see my brothers (my youngest brother for the first time).

Seeing my older brothers was amazing. I realized how much I missed them when they were asking about my flight and our grandmother. From that point on, they were the two most important people in the world to me. With my parents traveling, my grandmother still in Poland and my inability to communicate with my youngest brother, they were the only people I could actually converse with. They began to teach me basic English phrases and we went to see English films together. They showed me around NYC, walked me to school every day and taught me where to get “American” food. The three of us became very close and remained that way until we moved to Missouri a few years later.

The move to Missouri was really the catalyst for a lot of change. It was the point that I realized I had been raised differently, that my language was a huge barrier and that my family wasn’t typical. The move to Missouri happened after my father was offered a job in Kansas City and my mother had decided to quit her job. Missouri was a huge change for all of us, as we had always lived in urban areas. We moved over summer break and my mother enrolled us all in the same school district. We spent the summer getting acclimated to the humidity and I thought the heat might kill me before school even started. My older brothers became quite popular with the Midwestern girls. Both of them were much taller than the rest of the boys at school and they still retained enough of an accent that girls found it “exotic.” Being several years older than I was, they became more interested in having girlfriends then helping their younger sister. My mother, seeing that I was being left behind by my siblings, enrolled me in summer ESL courses. I became obsessed with learning English and by the time school started I was far enough ahead to begin taking courses.

Both Sven and Jakob were adored by the majority of the school. Teachers loved their tenacity, every coach wanted them to go out for their sport and they had amassed quite a following of their peers. I was known as “Sven/Jakob’s sister,” but I also attributed this to their inability to pronounce my first name. My relationship with my older brothers, especially Sven, began to become strained and we spent less time together as they prepared for college.

The year before Sven’s graduation, he began to distance himself from our family as a whole. He spent the majority of his free-time with his friends and only came home when my parents forced him. He began to dabble in drugs and alcohol, eventually requiring my parents to send him away for the summer. Jakob was less interested in partying, but the loss of his older brother caused him to withdraw and he turned to music. Over the summer he used the majority of his savings to buy audio equipment and records. He began producing his own songs and writing music on his guitar. When Sven returned from his “vacation to Arizona” (which is what my parents told everyone) he and Jakob immediately bonded over his new hobby.

When Sven graduated he left for the University of Colorado to study aerospace engineering and only came back home for major family events. After Sven graduated, Jakob and I became close once more. I was terrified about Jakob graduating and leaving home so I tried to get him to apply to schools in Missouri. Despite my best efforts, he ultimately decided to go to Duke so that he could apply to law school there. With both of my older brothers gone I was left to fend for myself as my youngest brother was too little for me to spent time with. It was difficult for me and I missed by brothers terribly. I begged my mother to let me visit them, but she would never let me go and I resented her for it. I kept in contact with my brothers and every once in a while one of them would venture back to Missouri. When I left for college, both of them returned home and helped me set up my dorm room. This was to be the last time I saw Sven, but I didn’t know it at the time and I wish I would have spent more time with him.

After I was moved in, Sven left to head back to Colorado. He had fought with my parents almost the entire time he was home and told them he wouldn’t be coming back to visit them any time soon. I assumed he was just being dramatic, but he never came back to Missouri and in early 2006 he called to tell me that he would be moving to Japan in September. I was devastated to have him move so far away. Apparently he has wanted to work with JAXA for a while, but couldn’t until his contract was up. At the end of 2006, Sven moved to Tokyo and then began working with JAXA in mid-2007. A few years ago he got married and now has two children. None of us were invited to the wedding and we have yet to meet any of his family. I have not seen him since the day I was moved into my dorm, but I’m hoping that he will visit in a few months.

When Jakob graduated from Duke, he moved to Colorado to live with Sven and anglicized his first name (Jacob).  He then purchased a house and the two lived together for a while until Sven decided to move to Japan. Jakob still lives in Colorado and I get to see him once every year or so. He has yet to distance himself from the family the way Sven has and since converting to Buddhism he has been better about communicating with my parents.

My brothers will always be important to me. They were my first playmates, the two family members I talked to almost every day and an integral part of my support system as I was growing up. Both of my brothers helped raise me and I can attribute a lot of personality traits to them. I do wish that they were more involved in the family and that they didn’t feel the need to distance themselves from us. I keep hoping that they will come around at some point so that I will be able to hug them and tell them, “Thank you for all that you did for me.”

Ojciec

Sunday was Father’s Day and it has always been a strange holiday for me. When I was younger I would celebrate it with my father, but ever-present in my thoughts was my biological father with whom I had never spoken with until October 2005.

It was such a surreal experience and one that I would prefer to never have to repeat. I had heard stories about my biological father from my mother who often told me how much I looked like him.  She had met my father at a synagogue in Łódź a year after her first husband passed away from cancer. Whenever we discuss my biological father, my mother is always sure to add in the disclaimer, “I was still dealing with the loss of Arvid and feeling very vulnerable.” It was, I have been told, a whirlwind romance and they were both crazy about each other. A year into the relationship, my mother found out she was pregnant and went to my father. From what I have been told, accusations were made and he told her that he was not ready to get married. My mother was distraught and begged him to reconsider, but one weekend he moved away from Łódź. They didn’t speak for 3 years and during that time my mother raised all of us as a single mother, until she met my (current) father.

In 2005, my mother asked me if I would like to meet my biological father. I was still living in Missouri and didn’t know if I was ready to sit across from the man who had hurt my mother so horribly. I initially declined his invitation, but after a few conversations with my mother I emailed him to set up a meeting.

We met at a small restaurant off campus and I recognized him right away. He was tall, slender and looked like me. My stomach ached the moment I saw him and I thought about walking out right then. I was incredibly nervous about speaking with him, but I mustered up the courage and proceeded to the table he had reserved for us. The walk to the table felt like it took a decade and he stood up to hug me. I was completely terrified by him wanting a hug, so I quickly sat down before he could embrace me. Sitting across from him, he was no more my father than the person sitting at the table nearest to us. I looked at him and realized that even though we were complete strangers, I would forever be connected to him no matter how hard I tried to distance myself. He was the first to speak and he was only able to force out a heavily accented, “Hello.”

When the waiter appeared, I had never been so excited to see someone in my life. I quickly ordered a drink and appetizers, but immediately regretted ordering anything that would prolong our meeting. After my father had ordered, we sat quietly at the table until our drinks came. Liquid courage washed over me and I finally asked, “Why did you leave my mother when you found out she was pregnant?” I knew that he had been expecting the question at some point, but I think he was

"I would like one glass of liquid courage and knife to cut through the awkwardness please"

flustered by the fact that it was the first question I wanted answered. He explained that he wasn’t ready to be a father, the idea of having to raise a child was terrifying to him and he assumed I would be better off without him. I told him that I would normally have understood that, if only he had not gotten married 6 months later (with a child soon after). I asked him if it was just the thought of being my father that scared him.  He was pretty open about the fact that he hadn’t even been ready to be a father to his boys, but that he was married and knew he had an obligation. He had, apparently, felt no obligation to be a father to me.

When the main course arrived, I begin to feel this sort of resentment for the man sitting across for me. Here he was, wanting to see me after so many years and yet he had not found it in him to care before this very meeting. I ate my soup, giving him the occasional nod when he asked a question. When we got to the fact that I was almost through with medical school, he reached across the table, placed my hand in his and said, “What a remarkable young woman you are!”
I don’t know why, but in that instant I hated him so much. I withdrew my hand to my lap and sat up. I stared at him with cold eyes and responded, “I am who I am because of the love and support my mother and father provided me. It was nothing that you did, you had no part in the way I turned out.” At first he just studied my face and I assumed it was because he was trying to figure out how to respond. Then he gave a bit of a smirk and said, “Genetics play a huge role in the way a child turns out, I’m sure they taught you that in medical school.” His smugness was off-putting and I wanted to leave so badly, but I thought that if I walked away he would win. I had wanted to come to this meeting to show him how much I didn’t need him and to finally resolve the issues I had from not knowing my biological father. I had wanted him to see that, without him I had accomplished so much. In truth, I had wanted to hurt him.

I look back on that meeting now and it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. We ended the lunch by exchanging numbers, but I never called him and he never contacted me. I found out later through my mother that he had two sons and was living in Paris with his family. Knowing that I have two half brothers whom I will probably never meet has always been a little odd to me. I found out their full names so that I could recognize them if I was ever introduced to them, but the idea that I am related to them still bewilders me.

Every year since I met my biological father, I tend to think about him around fathers day. I wonder what my life would have been like if he had decided to raise me. Would we have moved to the States? Where would I have gone to college and would I have pursued a different degree? Would I have loved him like I love my father now? What would our relationship be like? Would we have anything in common besides our physical attributes? Obviously these questions will always remain unanswered, but I have to think that I am ok with that as I have a wonderful father who raised me like I was his own.

Happy (belated) Fathers Day.