I went to the local Harvey Norman on the weekend to buy a chair for my computer desk at home. I found what I wanted, and then looked for a salesperson to organise the purchase. I spoke to a sales lady who gave me a discount that I accepted, and then took me to her desk to organise the paperwork. She got my home phone number, and since I’ve been a previous customer, all my details came up on the screen.
“Oh,” she said. “You’ve got the same surname as my maiden name. What’s your dad’s name?” she asked casually, making conversation.
“Joseph Frederick,” I said, while I was sitting back in the chair watching my friend playing with his iPhone just a few metres away. However, when she gasped in surprise I looked back at her, and her hands went to her face to cover it, and her eyes teared up.
“You’re joking,” she said. I wasn’t.
It turned out that she’s the daughter of my father, from the wife he had before he met my mom.
I have a new, older sister. Her name is Julie, and with her comes two neices and a nephew.
My life changed on the weekend.
After a couple of chats with my mum over the phone, it turns out that she knew about Julie, but my dad never wanted to talk about his life before mum, so none of us kids were told about our half sister… It was a secret he kept to his death.
And after learning of some of his history from Julie, I found out that he was married for 4 years to Julie’s mother before he discovered that she had cheated on him, and so they separated. I can only imagine that he held onto this anger for the rest of his life, and just wanted to pretend that his life before my mum never happened.
Julie also told me that she thinks there were 2 other women that he had kids with before he met HER mum, so there are possibly 4 women out there (definitely 2) who have kids to my dad.
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