My brother, he has a name, a real name, a name that was given to him by the man and woman who became his true parents, a name that carried him through childhood and adolescence and high school and on into adulthood, a name that he probably learned to write by tracing its letters in pencil on lined scribblers, a name that he he probably scrawled on desktops and in the backs of math textbooks, a name that he has no doubt signed on countless cheques and contracts and letters. He has a name. It is not the name my mother gave him.
I know this name, now. Knowing this name makes feel both closer to him, and further away. Closer, because knowing his name will help me find him. Further away, because it is the name of a stranger, and sometimes I forget that it is a stranger I am looking for. A stranger who might have no idea that he has a birth sister (sisters), and a birth mother whose heart aches when she thinks of him. A stranger who might not care.
I have to remind myself that this story might not have a happy ending. I have to remind myself that, sometimes, an unhappy ending is better than no ending at all.
And so I press on.
I won’t be sharing his name here. I had thought that I might, thinking that people publish classified ads all the time, looking for lost family, lost friends, lost strangers. But this space isn’t a classified ad, and because he is a stranger – with name and a life that are all his own – I need to keep his name out of my story. If you have an opinion on this, either way, I’d love to hear it. The temptation to post his name was strong – someone, somewhere, knows him, and among the many visitors to this blog there must be some degree of connection to him – and although I believe that the decision to keep his name private is right, I’d love to hear what everybody else thinks. I want to do what is right. I also kinda want to talk it out.
Another question – because I am lost here, and your support and advice have done much to light my way so far – once one has narrowed down some possibilities – by name, and not just by the guesswork I was doing the other week – how does one approach a stranger with a story like this? How does one say, I found you by this name; were you once called by another name? Does one write? Does one call? Does one message via Facebook? Does one send word by carrier pigeon?
(Note: if anyone is mean in the comments, like last time – and by mean I don’t mean critical – you’re allowed to give your honest opinion, even if you think I might not like it. I mean MEAN – I will close comments again. This topic is too sensitive for me. I want feedback, but don’t tell me that you think I’m a selfish, insensitive attention-whore for telling this story.)
(Oh, and? My computer problems are soon to be rectified. HP thought that my circumstances represented a great opportunity – because they are interested in simplifying moms’ lives, and I am a mom whose life became, with the death of her computer, very complicated – for me to roadtest, on a lending basis, one of their new notebooks. Which is kind of poetic, because it was an HP notebook that Jasper murdered. So it’s kind of like getting a Labradoodle puppy to replace your old Labradoodle who died when the baby pushed him off the couch. Sort of. If that Labradoodle puppy were just on loan and was wireless compatible.)