I was not an immaculate conception. L had a little help, getting pregnant. We will call him D. From the little L told me there was nothing extraordinary about their relationship, except maybe he was a bit more intense about it than she. Once I was conceived, L realized that under the circumstances, spending the rest of their lives together as Mr. and Mrs. would not be good for anyone involved. A mistake was made with the sex, no need to perpetuate it.
D wanted to get married and have a family. Yet wanting something does not make it right.
Before I continue I want to explain,I want to be very respectful of D and his family. I love them and care for them. I don’t know if I actually have the ‘right’ to open the closets the skeletons are kept in. I don’t think I should, completely, I will give you a peek. I believe I do need to share ‘the story’, to honor, to acknowledge the life of a young man who loved a baby he never knew, D.
For D,there was strife and turmoil, behind a white picket fence facade. An overbearing father, a mother who chose to be a victim of this. Possibly her desperation to hide the ugly from everyone on the outside and keep that picket fence painted was even more damaging than the harshness of the father.
The father (my grandfather) was never told about the pregnancy. For fear of his reaction, D and his mother decided to never tell him. L describes meetings with her parents, D and his mother, trying to work things out. D wanted to marry. L knew it would not work. D wanted to raise the baby on his own. They all knew it would not work. He could not even tell his father. D’s mother did not want D’s father to know. All of this was a terrible blow to D. D and L’s relationship dissolved. D became angry. L had to remove herself from the situation and moved to the adoption home.
Almost a year and a half after I was born and given to my family, a tragedy of life happened. One of the renditions goes something like this; D was brought home drunk,by his mother. From what the newspaper article says, and what the siblings of D know, and adding what L remembered of D, he had been troubled, he was distraught over something only he and his mother knew of. He had been acting out for months. Another argument ensued, the gun his mother had carried with her for protection as she went to find her son that night, was out. D made statements about not having anything to live for, everything he loved was taken away. A struggle between a mother and son, the father watched. A shot, through the heart, and 17 year old D is dead. Tragic.
For my Aunt and Uncle, D’s siblings, this was just the beginning of tragic events. Their parents divorced. Within a year of the shooting their mother was killed in a car accident. Now no one in their family knew of me. A year after their mothers death their father died from a virus he contracted on vacation in Mexico. By the time Uncle was a high school graduate and Aunt was a freshman in high school, they had lost all family except each other. As circumstances had it, they were ‘brought in’ by opposite family, Uncle fraternal family and Aunt maternal. Fraternal and maternal had burned bridges with D’s death.
When I met L she told me of D, their relationship, his name and family, and his death. L suggested I not pursue the family. His being dead and his family not knowing of me, it made sense. I agreed. For a time. About two years after finding L, God started pulling at my heart again. I felt a need, to find them. My thought was just to get some medical history. God wanted me to find them for another reason. I know God wanted this to be done, it was so easy to find them, I do not even remember how I did it. L had given me the family names, same thing I had to work with before, within an hour I had the name and number of my now married Aunt.
I called a couple of times not getting an answer, maybe an answering machine. Finally Aunt answered. By this time and the circumstances being different, D being dead, Aunt not having the shame to bear, I was not as ‘careful’ about my announcing whom I was. I said “ I am Christy Petty, and I am D’s illigitimate daughter.” Aunt did not even need to ask, she said “ You must be L’s.” I confirmed and Aunt explained she had had no idea about me but it made sense. Finding out about me helped explain a lot of the turmoil her brother had gone through. One thing she said at the end of the conversation was “ You are the light the end of a dark tunnel.” I did not know what that meant, until I heard of the estranged relation she and Uncle and the family had had all the years past. Until I realized the plan God had.
Within months of finding Aunt, we met. She gave me a baby book of my D’s. Pictures of him. He was so young. They found that my cousin W actually does look like a family member, me. They met all of my boys, and refer to them as nephews and my sons call them Aunt and Uncle.
Since then we have had a Thanksgiving at my home with my parents, Aunt and Uncle, their spouses and children. Mom and Dad loved them, they became their family too. We went to the beach with Aunt and Uncle, met some maternal great-aunt and uncles. Had a fraternal family reunion. Some fences have been mended, some bridges rebuilt. God had a plan.
I have come to realize that God does not cause the turmoil, the heartache the shame and grief in our lives. We bring it. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. God has thoughts of peace and all good for us. It is our choices, that bring it on. Our choices affect the world, sometimes a little sometimes a lot. God knows our future, though he does not make it. This is a saying God gave me years ago, after the death of my brother, God does not cause these things on purpose, but he makes a purpose for all things. I have a purpose. God knows.