My dad's youngest son (my half brother) from his first marriage and I talked on the phone tonight. We haven't spoken in over 10 years, probably closer to 15. He hasn't seen my (our!) dad in close to 10 years either.
It was an interesting discussion, putting each other back in context - as he said, it is hard to think of me as anything but a youngster (meaning small child). Now he's faced with this woman, mother, seminarian, family caretaker. It must create quite a reality shift.
My daughter was very excited to learn that she has a 13 year old cousin. She has very little extended family. The call left me with a burning desire to go back to the days of the family Christmas party at my aunt's - the hot tub at the top of the spiral stairs, the hanging wicker swinging chair that all the kids fought over, the martinis and wet bar, the racing memorabilia , the cousins I only saw once a year, the candy, the soda, the cookies, the jello mold. I don't hold out unrealistic hopes that we might have a family reunion again - and my aunt and uncle have passed on and the house is gone - but to have connections again to family. That would be good.
Anyway, in the end, I gave him dad's contact info. Who knows what dad will say, or even if he'll be lucid, but I felt it was important to let him have contact. He clearly was looking for his dad, who is a different dad then I grew up with. And I am not going to stand in the way of that. Dad doesn't have forever left, and not that much time that won't be taken over by dementia.
I feel sad and happy - years lost, opportunities lost. Happy to reconnect. Bitter at the stupidity that separates people for years or lifetimes. Happy 50th Birthday, Randy. I hope our connection made it a good milestone.