Goodbye Steph…

…I received word from Elizabeth that our close friend, Lisa’s mum, Stephanie, passed away at 04:20 this morning after battling various illnesses.  Even more tragic is that today would have been her sixtieth birthday, if Rachel is correct.

I remember chatting to Elizabeth’s mum about Steph, not having met her yet.  Elizabeth’s mum summed her up as flamboyant.  When I eventually did have the honour of meeting Steph, she was flamboyant…and caring…and funny…and loving…and gracious…and inspiring…and the list goes on.

People often say when one no longer walks a road with someone to “remember the good times” – and I do.  I have searched the deepest recesses of my mind for a tainted memory of some sort and nothing comes up.  I distinctly remember the last time we had a get-together at Lisa’s flat (behind her parents’ house).  The lights of the main house were off, so I just popped into the flat – moments later Lisa’s phone rang.  Steph was on the line wanting to know why I had not popped in to say hello.

I went in to say hello and we ended up chatting for almost an hour!  She was always positive about everything, despite her troubling health.  I remember telling her how much the farm takes out of me and that I know it is not something I see myself doing long-term and she would encourage me to do what would make me happy; to never stop dreaming.

She also had a strange, yet fond fascination with my hair.  Whenever she saw me she would compliment me on it, or run her fingers through it.  She was also always interested in potential romances; she would tease Rachel often about all her “boyfriends”.

My heart is aching terribly today – not only for Steph’s departure; for Lisa and her father and Steph’s mum left behind, but because it brought me to a terrible realization that Steph was younger than both my parents.  It made me realize just how fortunate I am to still have them with me.  Seems as I get older, Death makes me a little more aware of my mortality.

Steph – You were loved by many, and you will be sorely missed.  Rest now, in the arms of the angels.

Pandora’s Box

The saying says, “let sleeping dogs lie” – but as usual, my curiosity got the better of me. The fact that I had a vivid dream about my biological father on Saturday night, coupled with the ad in the You magazine and the haunting vision, didn’t help matters.

I posted a request on Facebook to find out if anyone could help with news about him. Mom was livid when she found out about it and Laura, my cousin said it wouldn’t really make a difference if I knew or not, but I wanted to know.

Two friends came to the rescue but what I have found out has left me with more questions than answers – and some fears too.

Keryn did a trace update on him – last known address is somewhere in Roodepoort and that is in 2002. He was employed as a security guard. He never moved up in the world.

His marital status is the big-M (which is a surprise because he lived with Mom for fifteen years and never married her – despite them having me). No dependants. Run of the mill stuff – nothing really concrete. She then did a credit check on him too – there is NO information whatsoever on him since 2002. It’s like he literally has just vanished.

Then Jenna, our receptionist’s fiancé, Felix did a criminal check on him and that had some interesting, and expected results (although part of me so hoped that he would have changed in twenty two years since I last saw or heard from him).

Turns out that after 2002 when he was last accounted for according to the basic trace Keryn did, he was found to have been in a rehab centre in 2007, which we surmise has something to do with a drug possession arrest at the same time. There is also a suspended sentence of five years on that. Then, in 2009 it shows that a case of fraud had been filed against him in Boksburg. So at least I know he wasn’t dead last year. There is nothing about him being dead, so the assumption is that he is in hiding, given the fact that if he is found guilty of the fraud he will definitely end up in the chookie, given the fact that he is still on a suspended sentence for the drug possession charge.

The drug possession charge doesn’t surprise me – he was a dagga smoker even when Mom and I still lived with him. Mom thinks she protected me from his terrible secret, but I knew. The fraud though, while not totally surprising, is something I wasn’t expecting. It scared me. Hell, re-tense that. It scares me.

I’m relieved though, that there is no criminal activity involving child molestation (unless Felix didn’t have the heart to tell me), because he molested me as a child, as well as a school friend of mine, and Cousin Laura too. It’s sick, it’s sad, and no matter what happens, a true reality that taints every relationship I enter into.

Now, my question(s)…Genetically we are linked. Fact. No amount of denial or time apart is going to change that. If we are genetically linked, what is stopping me from snapping one day and turning out to be just like him? Or is my conditioned upbringing going to switch off that part of my brain?

While I haven’t turned out to do anything criminal (yet), I see a destructive pattern in the men I’m attracted to because on some level, they are all like him…

Peter – looked like him to a point. Had that some suave, cocky attitude.

Jessie James – he could have been my biological father’s son. They are so the same in the way they do things, what they’ve achieved and where they’re going, it is beyond scary.

Stuart – an ex I dated twice. He broke up with me on Facebook. He lied to me, cheated on me (although I can’t point fingers because he was cheating with me on his girlfriend at the time), drank too much and bought me flowers or chocolates every time he had done something wrong. Exactly the same as my father used to do with Mom. And me. I never wanted for any toy as a child – he always gave me exactly what I wanted.

Even Mark – my heart is absolutely breaking to make some kind of lee-way with him, but he is acting like a coward, hiding behind a switched-off phone and pretending that I don’t exist. My father did exactly the same thing when things got a little too hard to handle. He would just not come home. Pretend that his problems didn’t exist, instead of facing them head-on, like a real man.

I wanted to know. I don’t deny that. But now that I do, I admit that I was much happier living in my oblivious world. This little opening of Pandora’s box has left part of me empty and broken. I suppose part of me was always empty and broken – this has just made that all the more obvious.