Today in Writing 101, write a post with roots in a real-world conversation. For a twist, include foreshadowing.
I opened the envelope in my hands glancing at the return address as I ripped it open. Schultz & Kirkpatrick, P.C. it read. A lawyer, I thought to myself. From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, no less. The documents enclosed were the probate documents to my step mother’s will. She had died a few months back, and I was interested to find out how she disposed of her assets.
Over a cup of tea, I read the legal papers. When I finished, I shook my head and read them again. Just as I had assumed, my step mother had included me in her will inheriting along with 20 other people an amount to be determined 15 years after her death if certain conditions were met. Typical.
In addition, she had written out my sister, (now deceased herself), and my brother… but someone else was listed, Carol Steinle. Who the hell was that, I thought?
(Image credit: Opening the documents)
I read that section over and over again. The more I read, the clearer it became to me that my father had another child after me, with another woman he had been married to! AND, not my mother, nor my step mother. I stared blankly at the page. Could this be true? I shook my head in disbelief.
I called my brother in law, Jerry, who was the eldest in the family and had known my parents extensively. He listened as I read to him the information contained in my step mother’s probate documents. When I finished he let out a long sigh.
“You never knew any of this,” he asked me?
“No,” I told him, “I am completely in the dark about another child.”
Jerry asked me if I remembered my Father married to the other woman. He said it wasn’t long after my mother had died. I did, and it was not a good memory.
The last time I saw her, my drunken father had beat her up. I closed my eyes and could hear the sirens and see the flashing lights of the police car that had responded to the incident all over again in my mind. I remember crying and screaming for my Daddy. That was when Grandma and Grandpa came and got me and I started living with them.
(Image credit: police car)
“Your father was a mess in those days,” my brother in law said. You lived with Grandma and Grandpa and he married her. We all knew it would not work out, but your father was not the kind of man you questioned, if you remember.
“Did he have another child,” I asked, afraid of the answer.
“We never saw her,” said Jerry. “Your sister and I knew, but not anyone else.”
“Your stepmother had a fit when she found out,” Jerry said. “Your father and step mother married in another state and your father never told her he had been married to the second wife.” “They had to get a divorce, so that he could divorce the second wife.” “Then he remarried your step mother,” Jerry said.
I was shocked beyond belief. All that moral crap they had crammed down my throat when I was young, and here at forty years old I learn my father was a bigamist? And, he had another child!
I hung up the phone after thanking Jerry for explaining it all to me. Now what, I thought? I have a half-sister somewhere out there. Does she even know about me or my brother? I began the search for the half-sister I never knew I had.
Thanks for visiting me today. I look forward to seeing you again,