What is it that one does when there's a death in the family - mourn? grieve? wish them back? I did not suffer from any of those feelings at the knowledge of my father's passing, apart from an emptiness and lack of emotion.
Though he was a close relative of mine, our relationship was not ever that close. We never shared that father-son bond that is talked about so often in the books and movies. During my childhood we rarely talked besides the odd casual instruction and grunts at the dinner table. After I left for college we did not see each other or keep in contact.
The truth is my Dad never cared - about anyone or anything.
The most daring move in his life was probably when he moved over to California and took me with him almost twenty years ago. I didn't know the rest of my family, if I had any siblings or whether my other parent even existed. My dad never spoke of them.
So it was a big shock when my long lost mother called me up and asked me to come over to England and visit the family I have never met before. Naturally I said yes, relieved that I was not alone in the world, but anxious about whether they'd even like or not. I mean, my dad never did.
My heart was beating in a nervous flurry as I hailed a cab - sorry, taxi - and started on my journey towards the train station that could get me to my final destination. This was the first time I had ever been in the U.K. before. I had flown straight from California, being let off the work for a week for grievance time - my boss believed that a happy worker was a profitable worker, (her words, not mine).
The rain was constant and unforgiving. According to the taxi driver this was 'typical British weather'. And because of the bad weather, traffic on the motorway was slow and the bill ended up costing me a fortune. The train was just as expensive.
By the time I trenched up towards the driveway of the house my mother said she was current residing in, not only was I drenched from the torrential rain, but I was broke as well. My first impression of England consisted of mostly swear words and disappointment. Things only got worse after I knocked on the door and the person who had answered I had never expected to see again.