I have so much I want to say. But it’s hard to concentrate when one is sitting in a Starbucks with the requisite music playing louder than it should. Especially when the tunes I hear resemble Nepalese yak-herding music.
I’m in B.C. for a few days. Last year, after our father, Giulio, died, my brother and I decided we would come to B.C. in July of 2013 to bury his ashes with our mother, Gwen. Well, my brother had to cancel due to work commitments. He wants to reschedule for late September. As a result, I’m up here alone.
Nevertheless, I’ve been able to accomplish a few things. I’ve spoken to the church, the pastor and the cemetery. I now have all the information I need so that we will be ready when it finally comes time to bury Giulio’s ashes. I still have to email the information to my brother in Dubai, or wherever he is today. As with everything else, all decisions are my brother’s. I’m on the outside. But I’m accustomed to that.
I’m staying in my father’s house. A neighbor’s son has been living here and taking care of the place until it sells. I had been under the impression the house was off the market. What a surprise to find out it’s sold.
So, I’m staying in Giulio’s home. I’m sure glad I came up here anyway. By September it will be gone, literally, a $950,000 knockdown–such is the housing market in B.C. At least I got to see this place one last time.
It’s weird being up here now. B.C. has been a part of me my entire life. I was conceived here. We came up here for years to visit my aunt from my adoptive dad’s side of the family. This is where my biological family lived and for decades; I came up here to meet them. My father died here and I helped plan the funeral. Now, almost everyone is dead, my brother is in Dubai and I’m feeling a tremendous sense of loss.
This place has meant so much to me for so long that it’s hard to let go. I always seem to make the mistake of forgetting that the world moves on; change is inevitable. Then, suddenly, I’m faced with enormous change that has been gradually building for years and I wonder what’s happening.
B.C. has always resonated with me. Even before I met my family, before I knew I was adopted, my family would come up to visit. I remember always feeling a stirring in my soul that defied description. There was an uneasiness that I couldn’t articulate as a child. It’s an uneasiness that I still can’t articulate. But I now reconcile it with the fact that I had a connection, spiritual or whatever, to these people, this province, this nation. And now I know why. I’m part of this place. This place is part of me. B.C. is in my DNA and I don’t want to lose that link.
And it’s odd, this time around. For the first time in 35 years I’m up here with no agenda, no responsibilities. I don’t have to take care of my father, visit family, talk to doctors. There’s no stress superimposed over the visit, no screaming from my father. No abuse. No insults. I can enjoy myself. B.C. will no longer be equated with pain and negative emotions. There is no longer a lump in the pit of my stomach when I see the Peace Arch as I cross the international boundary between the U.S. and Canada.
At the cemetery I visited all the graves–my mother’s family is buried there, most of whom I never knew. I looked at these grave markers and I felt yet more questions. Too many to articulate. I feel cheated and I feel like life is passing too quickly. For those family members I knew, I wonder about how much I still didn’t know about them. Why didn’t I ask more questions? Why didn’t I get more information? Why the hell am I obsessing????
And that last question haunts me. Does anyone else out there obsess over their identity? Is this just a byproduct of my situation–being an adoptee? Finding my family? Having three families? Is it a byproduct of the fact that I’m a drama queen–or is it king?
Is it both?
I feel like I’m losing everything I’ve ever known. I think this trip to B.C. is therapeutic because I will now be able to let go. But I’m afraid of letting go. There’s so little left in Oregon and now I’m facing the loss of B.C. Is this God’s way of telling me that Italy is more than a possibility, that Italy should be viewed as a probability???
I can say that I feel the pieces are falling into place for Italy, even though I still have some doubt about work. But I feel this trip is definitely pointing me in that direction.