Burning Bridges

I was raised by my grandparents, and never really knew my biological father. I met him once briefly, when I was a teenager, but when the opportunity arose to develop a real relationship with him, when he finally wanted to get to know me…
I declined.
‘My turn to abandon him!’ reasoned angry teenage me.
I gave ’em the cold shoulder and that was that.

I would find out a few years later that he had died unexpectedly.

That was it.

My window had closed. I let the opportunity to know my father slip through my fingers, and lost it forever.
I got blackout drunk and angrily lamented the anger of my youth.

Fast forward a few years.
Through the magic of social media, my father’s brother found and reached out to me.
Our families met for breakfast one morning, and we have been friends ever since.
Through him, I’ve found out about that side of my family. I’ve gotten to know, and know about, sisters, aunts, uncles and other relatives. Some living right here in the same town as me. Some I had even known before we knew we were related!
Pretty neat, says I.

Fast forward a few more years.
I find out I also have a half brother, that is just a little older than me, who shared a similar relationship with our father as I did. He contacts me, we commiserate, and become friends on social media. And let me tell ya, he was SO excited to find out about me! We even have similar taste in music! Unfortunately, that’s about it, as far as similarities go.
So we lock horns over politics and various social issues (on social media, as we live a considerable distance from each other) for a year or so, before I finally angrily remove him from my friends list, essentially cutting him out of my life before I ever even meet him in person.
See, what kills me about it, is that I know he suffers from severe depression. It’s possible that his hostility stems from that. I know hurt people hurt people. I know I should act with more love, but I just can’t take the hatefulness anymore. That’s it. Done.

Fast forward a couple months.
This morning I found out that the brother I never met, lost his fight with depression.

That was it.

My window has closed.
And I find myself lamenting the anger of my youth.


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