Richard Hyatt: A complicated Father's Day

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerJune 14, 2014 

It's Father's Day, and I still don't know where to mail the card.

Most of my life it was simple.

When I was a kid, my mother picked out the card and I signed it.

We'd slide the envelope under the ribbon on the present and on Sunday morning I gave it to my Dad.

Later on, I bought a card, licked a stamp and dropped it into the mailbox, hoping it would get there by Saturday.

His name was Raymond and he was the only father I ever knew.

I had no reason to doubt and plenty of reasons to love.

Then life got confusing. Truth was, I was adopted, something everyone else seemed to know but never shared with me.

I told my story on Mother's Day 2006, a day I celebrated two women -- one who gave me away, and one who wanted me.

Now it is Father's Day 2014, and I've learned very little about the man who gave me life.

A woman named Doris was my birth mother. She told a social worker that a man she called Earl Tremberlay came into the drug store where she worked, gave her a ride and between the store and home forced himself on her.

I was born in May 1944. She named me Ronald Eugene and she never held me in her arms. She signed me over to the state and never looked back.

Raymond and Lois gave me a home and their name. They promised to tell me the truth but they never did.

I was 61 years old when I found out I was adopted. By then, they were dead and so was Doris.

Since then, I've discovered a lot about Doris, and her story isn't pretty. Some of it is just plain disgusting.

Earl Tremberlay -- or whatever his name really was -- remains a shadow. I'm not sure he existed. His name might have been concocted to hide a darker secret. I'm content to let him go, to consider him nothing more than a sperm donor.

At this stage of life, even if I found him, what would I say? It is likely that he never knew what his interlude with Doris produced. He would be around 90, so why bother him?

As for a card, I doubt Hallmark has one that covers Earl and me.

-- Richard Hyatt is an independent correspondent. Reach him at hyatt31906@knology.net.

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