I would call him my 'Real Dad' but a real dad is the one who gives you hugs when you graze your knee when you're little, teaches you to ride a bike, plays Frisbee on the beach when he'd much rather be having a pint, ask's if you're hurt then instructs you to have a vodka when rung with news of a first car crash, walks you down the aisle and then provides a tear jerking speech about the love for his daughter on her wedding day, holds his first grandchild and looks at her with pride, is there what ever time of day. That wasn't the DNA donor, that was my REAL DAD.
Apparently, so I've been told, the DNA Donor loved me lots and I began my life as a doted on Daddy's Girl, but when I was 5 he left my Mum. When I was 7 he left me, according to him, it was too hard for both of us to be separated after every, fortnightly, weekend visit. Better to be separated forever (me, bitter, never). I'm assuming that the separation anxiety also went for his money as he never spent another penny on me after the age of 7. So the few memories and the photo albums of the two of us end about here (oh to have a tummy that flat still!):
My Mum hasn't really spoken about the break up much but I know that she felt very bitter about the Donor walking out of our life and seemingly replacing us with another wife and her three older girls almost immediately.
So 30 years pass, hearts are sewn together and the cracks covered over, then 8 weeks ago, the youngest replacement daughter rings me to let me know that the Donor is in a hospice and likely to die shortly. Now what? The stitches begin unravelling, I don't want to hurt my Real Dad, I thought I'd dealt with how I felt years ago, the pressure of only having a short time to decide what to do. Lots of tears and hugs later I'm going to go and see him.
But, haha - he literally has the last laugh, he doesn't want to see me. Selfish in life, why would he change now (OK I realise that he was dying and could do what he wants - but I regressed to an abandoned child once again!). After 8 weeks of progress reports given by the replacement daughter, I get the final call.
So back to the funeral - with the help of Tim's hand holding me down in my seat - a story of an unrecognisable life! If I could have worked out which door was the way out, I would have left after the vicar began the ramble about how god ensures that parents care for children and their grandchildren. Wife 5 (that I know of) of five years (good going for him), a devout Methodist, helped out the vicar with selected highlights of the Donor's life (I found out he was a keen cross country runner in his youth - that's where Anya gets it!). The vicar, with a sad sigh, wrapped up by pointing out that the Donor was a loving husband and father to youngest replacement daughter and 'Grandpappy' to her children.
So that was that then - written out of his life. Do I care, not sure yet. Am I angry, you bet. What can I do - go and get a big hug from my REAL MUM and DAD.
PS - Tim's just read this and thinks I shouldn't let the world read it and that it really wasn't as bad as I made out. I'm hoping that I can let go of my feelings and now that this particular door has shut I can turn my back on it. I am pleased that I've met some new/old family and that it's meant that I've re-appreciated the amazing family I HAVE got. I needed to write down somewhere how I felt and mission accomplished, I could just delete this whole post (I'll think about doing that). And one last thing - I'm not blaming the vicar, wife 5 or replacement daughter for how I feel or what was said. The problem was with what I personally heard (different to what anyone else heard), and I should have talked that through with the Donor years ago!