Lynette had been the most mysterious of my unmet siblings, and for a long time the one I was the most uncertain of as to the reaction I would receive.
Over the years, Pam & Kim had repeatedly referred to Lynette as the "black sheep" of the family; the one who had very little to do with the rest of the clan. When I had asked about her, they would usually take a curious "Who does SHE think SHE is to get all educated and move away?" attitude. When I had first met Pam & Kim, henceforth referred to as The Hens, I took them at their word. But, as years and events passed, and especially after I began to talk with Shelly in February, a growing curiosity filled me about this peculiar, enigmatic sister. What was REALLY behind The Hens' spiteful attitude? "Black sheep?" Really? The more I learned, I more I would be willing to wager that there was much more to it. Something resembling jealousy and feelings hurt by an assumed rejection. Something I understand too well!
After we first connected, Shelly contacted Lynette letting her know that we were in touch, and that I was interested in meeting everyone. I've said it before, and will continue to berate the point: Shelly accomplished in days what The Hens had failed to do in 15-years. While I had known The Hens since 1994, through Shelly I learned that Lynette had been unaware of my existence until 2007! I've written a ton on this, and heard all manner of "family dynamics" excuses, but this is STILL inconceivable to me! Aside from The Hens sitting on the DuBay Egg of Knowledge, it's especially confusing when you consider her own mother, Charlotte, knew exactly who I was from the very beginning. Bizarre. There HAS to be more to this.
Holding tightly to Hen-hatched impressions, I had been slightly apprehensive as to how Lynette would react to my overtures. But, to my delight, she was very receptive. We began exchanging emails and chatting through Facebook while Chris and I were in New York City, and it became immediately apparent that we were a lot alike! I liked her instantly. She invited me to stop by if my travels took me to Boise, and from that moment the 2009 itinerary-of-intentions included Idaho. We finally talked for the first time on Shelly's phone in June, around the same time that I had met her boys. It was telling that she told Ben and Brad who I was BEFORE they arrived in Michigan; her forthrightness impressed me, and was something I wished there had been a lot more of.
Lynette had moved away from Michigan sometime after graduating from college (then a family first), and rarely visited, even choosing to miss her brother, Skip's, wedding. She had also chosen to send her kids, Ben & Brad, to visit Michigan alone over the summer, so by all indications, there was something residing back there that she just had no interest in re-visiting. I was quite curious to know specifically what that was after intuitively "smelling" something very familiar.
There were indications of this may be as I sat at The Norv's house that June afternoon. Our father was at the time plotting a late-summer RV trip, and toying with a trek to Boise as a portion of it. But, he became visibly irritated at the fact that he "never heard" from her. From there, Ward Cleaver appeared to take a hurt, "Fuck them" attitude. Not receiving his visit would be her punishment. On display before my eyes was the passive-aggressive "me as a weapon" I heard about for so long from his kids, and even my own mother. The Norv had no interest in why things were really this way, and began concocting his own imaginary demons. He then immediately made a comment about how "that husband of hers" must be the reason; a rationalization I had heard before. I wanted to ask, "Are you sure about that, Daddy of the Year?" I was already quite curious about Lynette's husband Dave after he had told Ben to ask Grandpa why his mom had a brother she didn't know, and consequently he had an UNCLE he knew nothing about! Hearing The Norv arbitrarily blame him made my curiosity that much more intense.
After Michigan and my return to Santa Fe in July, a visit to Boise became a bit clouded. Until leaving for Devils Tower, I wasn't completely sure that I would get to it in the near future. But, as the chain of events rapidly played out in the Dakotas and Montana, it became clear that this was indeed the time.
As I sat waiting at the Krispy Kreame, I marveled at how lightning fast things had developed! All that was left to see was what kind of connection we had, and where that smell of familiarity had come from. The coming week would wildly exceed all expectations...
Travel stories and the occasional rantings of an evolving cynic who's simply in search of a little human authenticity. Tales include hitching across the Rockies with an eventual cop-killer, a weekend with a terminally-ill billionaire, meeting my siblings for the first time, trips to Mexico, and scores of random people from Mass.-Slab City-Chiapas who are often even more interesting...for better or worse!
"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Posted by Todd X at 2:06:00 AM