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November 10, 2020

Life Changed in an Instant

I’m awake. My eyes open. I pray silently that today will be the day. It’s my 47th birthday, what a gift that would be. I reach for my iPad to check my email. Nothing. I sigh. We’re in Florida for a wedding but my mind is far away. Like a time machine I’m seven years old standing in the kitchen. My mom is sitting at the silver formica table set. I’ve had a rough day. I hate my life. “Mom, who’s my Dad?” She reaches for my hand and pulls me between her legs. Her other hand tucks my hair behind my ear. “Holly, this is a conversation for when you’re older.” The bed shifts as my husband rolls over and I’m brought back to reality. I check my email again. Still nothing. 


I have to get up, we are meeting my husband’s college buddies for lunch. There are lots of pre-wedding activities planned. I take my iPad with me and head to the shower. I wash my hair but I’m thinking about my mom. Her untimely death kept my father’s identity safe. No one knew who he was, not her sister or the husbands who came after me, it was the perfect secret.


I stop the water and towel off. I wrap myself in one towel and my hair in another like a turban. I check my email and there it is. The results from the DNA center. My hand shakes as I open the email while  walking back into the bedroom. “It’s here” my voice cracks. My husband sits up in bed, “open it” he says. My whole body is shaking now.  There is a link in the email but I can barely click on it. It opens a website where the PDF results can be downloaded. My husband is watching eagerly with anticipation. I click the download button, the hotel Internet is ungodly slow and the PDF opens in sections. Slowly filling the page. It’s Excruciating. Then there it is. I drop the iPad, grab my head and burst into tears. “Oh my god he’s my dad, he’s my dad.”  I’m crying and shaking. I can’t contain any of the emotions I’m feeling. Relief, excitement, joy, wholeness.  My husband grabs my arm and pulls me in for a hug. He’s my dad I say over and over again while my husband rocks me.


And just like that at 9:50 in the morning on my birthday my story, the script I’ve been living my whole life by, changed. I now know who my Dad is. 

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