Sunday, June 21, 2015

Celebrating Father's Day: Why I'm Happy Facebook Reunited My Hubby with His Dad

There are so many people, including my hubby, who just can't get into social media: the liking, the tweeting the pinning and re-posting just aren't their thing for whatever reason. I swear up until a few months ago my hubby was hardly a fan of Facebook, Instagram or any other similar outlet because he thought they were just silly ways to burn idle time while riding the bus or waiting in the doctors office. In the past he'd give me a quick side eye if he caught me scrolling through my phone while we were having an Orange is the New Black marathon. 

Fast forward to the present and he'd probably want to run up to Mark Zuckerburg himself to give him a huge hug in gratitude, ok maybe not a hug but a pound and a pat on the back definitely.

Without a doubt if you let it, social media can suck you into an abyss of thumbs up and little red hearts but behind all that, there is a HUGE sense of connection to people all over the world and right down the block from you that years ago you wouldn't be able to access as easily.  In a matter of minutes with a click of a name, and a scroll down a list of friends I was able to help my husband fill a void that had existed for over 15 years by sending a message and friend request to his father.

I could NEVER imagine my childhood without my father; the piggy back rides, dancing to classic R&B tunes while standing on his toes and of course we can't forget the lectures about missing curfew. And everyone knows that my quick temper is all my father and I'm always sure to blame it on his genes whenever possible, but I also credit my poise, professionalism and outgoing personality to him too. Although he never really admitted it, or ever really spoke about it too often the fact that my husband's father wasn't in his life was difficult for him as a kid who even into adulthood as a father of two boys questioned why his father wasn't around. Not to say that he was without strong male role models in his life. Having been raised by his Jamaican grandfather and thanks to the father's of friends, he learned how to fish, all about natural home remedies, how to build furniture and what is was to be a Jehovah's Witness among other valued lessons.

Without getting into all nitty-gritty, It's insane how things work themselves out. My hubby and I have been together for about 13 years, and in that time there had been talks of trying to find his dad, hiring an investigator and all that jazz, but nothing ever came of it. I think once I even reached out to the Ellen show and Oprah but those were longshots. Funny enough, one detail we knew was that his dad was married and his wife was cousins with a childhood friend of my dad's. Small world, isn't it!

 Well despite this childhood friend's efforts to try to connect my hubby to his father and younger brother & sister he had never met, when word traveled to family members, some felt it best that they stay out of it all. In a FB message she expressed that if it were meant for them all to reunite, God would see his way to make it happen. That was nearly 2 years ago. Long story short, one evening last year my father's childhood friend thanked that family member [that wanted no involvement] and I clicked her name and searched her list of friends, only to find a handsome man that looked like my husband's dang twin.

All I remember was turning to him and saying "I think I found your dad, babe... on Facebook" and him looking at me like I had just lost my mind. In the past I remember even friending a man with the same first and last name who knew some mutual people but it was pure coincidence. I sent a private message pertaining to my husband's mom and neighborhood, along with a friend request and just waited. The very next day my request was accepted, and I stalked his page looking at their resemblances and matching names with faces of his siblings. If nothing else were to come of it, I knew at least my husband and his father would have the opportunity to hash out any misunderstandings.

This new chapter in their lives has introduced us to a family that seems even larger than the one I grew up in. With a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, a nephew and a grandmother [my hubby got choked up and teary eyed, knowing she was alive and well in the Bronx], we look forward to all the holidays and celebrations. Karaoke, Pokeno, dancing and all, we hope to be there! And it's just a joy to see our kids pick up their Ipads to face-time their Grandpops whenever they want and that they have cousins close in age that they can play and hang out with. I'm sure nobody knew what to expect on either side but thus far it's has been a beautiful experience.

Family trumps everything, it's one of the many things that strengthen our marriage because we prioritize it's importance. Knowing where you came from and why your are the way you are is just as relevant for you personally as it is for your children and heck, even your spouse. Now having spent time with my father in law I see glimmers of him in my husband and things about him make more sense, even if just coincidental. I understand why children naturally gravitate to their loving and gentile personalities and cheesy smiles. Both of them enjoy being behind the camera capturing everyday memories and now I can blame the fact that my hubby needs to leave the television on until 2am in order to fall sleep on his daddy's genes. 

This Father's Day I'm just beyond happy that despite how much time has passed our families have embraced each other and that our sons have another set of genuinely loving, supportive and funny people to call family.... and greatly in thanks to Facebook! Have you ever reconnected or met a family member for the first time through social media interaction? 

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