It all started about 52 years ago. The man who claimed to be my father was treating me like a complete stranger. I was one of 5 children, and I was born second to the oldest: 4 boys and one girl. The oldest 3 boys shared the same father, the 2 younger ones shared another. My oldest brother looked just like the man we called our father, and I looked like my mother. The few times my father was around he always treated my oldest brother with favoritism. They both grew to look like twins so there was no denying that child. They’re still close to this day.
As the years passed by I began to wonder how a man that calls himself our father could totally ignore us even though he only stayed 3 minutes away from us with his new family. By the time I reached 20 I was immune to all the lies and pain inflicted on my heart from this man. Somewhere down the line my mind, heart, and instincts started to react. I spent many days in incarceration thinking about this issue. Eventually I formed my own opinion that this man couldn’t possibly be my father. I just couldn’t grasp the thought of a father denying his own flesh and blood.
I became a firm believer that time reveals everything in this life. I started watching the Maury Povich show in prison. I became obsessed with it. I started developing so many questions for my father. It wasn’t long before I started to question my mother’s actions. But she was the only father we all ever had. She was so wholesome and honest that I could never even consider questioning or challenging her integrity. She was just a good ole girl from the deep south of Mississippi. She was born and raised in the church. She was Mama. But all that changed the day my younger brother told me that he’d found out that he had a different father. My mother had come clean and eventually introduced him to his birth father. That wasn’t that long ago.
So now all my siblings know for sure who their father is but me. Early this morning my mother and I got involved in a heavy debate that led to a light argument. In the heat of the moment so many thoughts flooded my mind and my shoulders were carrying so much weight. Those 3 dreaded words finally rolled off my tongue, “Who’s my Daddy?” My brothers and I are only a year apart. There’s a possibility that either one of their fathers could be my father, as far as I’m concerned. I still get this lump in my throat whenever I talk or write about this issue. I have this overwhelming desire to find out the truth. I need to know the truth so badly because I needed him in my life just that much. I keep visualizing myself on the Maury Povich show with my mother and him on national television airing out all their dirty laundry for the whole world to see.
I often wonder if I’m the only person that feels like this way. I need some closure now and I think it’s time I heard his side of the story. Who knows what he’s going to tell me? Maybe he thinks there’s a possibility that I might not be his child because of her late confession. Maybe he knew all along. I have to be realistic; my mother had 5 children with 3 fathers. Now, that doesn’t make her a bad person because we’re not the only family with those issues, but it doesn’t make her a Saint, either. I need to know the truth before either of us dies. I wrote a book about the lack of fatherhood. I said some ugly things concerning him. What if I was wrong about everything? Every child deserves to know who their father is. I can’t imagine hurting a child like that. So, I’m on a mission to seek the truth as of today. I’m headed to Cali to talk to him, man to man. Stay tuned, folks, and don’t be surprised if you see a 52 year old African American writer on the Maury Povich show searching for the truth about “Who’s my Daddy?”