When our son Blake was born, his father Jeff asked me if I thought it would be a good idea if he "made contact" as he put it, with his mother. "If you want. That would be nice" I told him.
I had never met his mother and he hadn't spoken to her in over a decade and yet he felt compelled to call her and tell her she was a grandmother. He called, they spoke for twenty mins and then never spoke again.
When Jeff started smoking crack, I took "my" son and went back home to Tennessee. Jeff eventually came back too and saw his son a few times but crack use ended up taking over his life and forcing him out of Blake's.
On March 15, my son became a father. Holding his daughter--my granddaughter--in his arms reminded me how tiny he looked in his own father's arms. I wondered if history was going to repeat itself. Later on that evening, Blake asked "Do you think I should find my dad and tell him he's a grandpa?"
"If you want. That would be nice." I said. Those were the same words I had said to his father twenty years earlier.
In both occasions, I didn't think the absent parent deserved to know about either birth but it wasn't up to me then and it wasn't up to me now. So when Blake asked me if I could locate his father, I told him I would see what I could do.
Why not? Maybe things had changed for Jeff. Turned his life around. Gotten "sick and tired of being sick and tired" after all these years. Maybe he wanted to reach out to Blake but so much time had passed he didn't feel it was his place. He never "made contact."
Through the powers of social media, I got a message to Jeff. I gave my phone number and asked for a call. What if he called? What was I going to say to him? What if he didn't call? What was I going to say to Blake? Which would be worse--telling Blake his father called or that he didn't?
Less than twenty-four hours after my message, Jeff called.
"Hi Dyane, this is Jeff." he said, "I got your message. I thought about not calling but I figured something must be up for you to call."
"Blake asked me to see if I could get in touch with you because he wanted to tell you that he's a daddy now...that makes you a grandpa." I don't know why I said it that way but it's what came to mind. I told Jeff this situation reminded me of when he had called his mother to tell her about Blake. Unfortunately, the woman had died without ever speaking to him again after that December morning over twenty years ago.
But this wasn't going to turn out to be a Lifetime movie where Dad realizes what he'd missed with his son and what he'd gone through with his mother and decides to change. No credits would roll, no happily ever after.
Jeff said that he had read about Blake's athletic accomplishments in newspapers over the years but confessed to still being addicted to crack, homeless, in and out of shelters and jail. He said that every time he got a job, he blew his money, got high, got fired or just didn't show up to work. In essence, "once an addict....."as he used to say.
The next day I told Blake I had spoken to his father and what he had to say. It actually gave Blake peace. A question has been answered. Life goes on.
Haven't spoken to Jeff since and probably never will.The 'happily ever after' will be with Blake and his daughter--and me.