Internet Searches and Quiet Moments

It was quiet in the house on the mornings the kids were at preschool, and Z was at high school.

It was strange , after years of working for Rick while trying to keep the babies occupied so I could spend hours on my computer, that now that I finally did have the time, there was a lot less to be doing.  Sure, I was still compiling information on radio stations and sharing promotional information with the fans, but there was none of the website updating and work.  With my email address no longer on the official website for questions, the amount of email I received asking about this or that related to Mr. Springfield was greatly reduced.

I found myself often in the stillness of it all, lost.  Shouldn’t there be something to do?  Shouldn’t there be a phone call to make or a digital file to create?  The phone even rang less and less, without the updates from management or the stream of drama laced phone calls from my friends.  It was as if everyone had already realized that my bloom was starting to fade and had already gone in search of greener pastures.

Which is how one morning I found myself actually watching a movie on TV instead of sitting at my computer.  The children were at school, the house was (reasonably clean) and my email box was well under 100 messages.  R was out of town for a few days, so I relaxed and popped in a video I’d rented from the library with Colin Firth in it.  I hadn’t really read the premise on the library issued plastic casing, but I knew that my favorite English actor was featured in a father role.

I sat, numb, as I watched the storyline unfold.  It should have been cheesy ‘tween fodder, a girl who reunites with her long lost father only to find out he (and now she) is a member of British high society. Except  as I watched her internal struggle with the absent father she’d never met, my heart sank.  Was this how my son felt?  He’d never met his father, either.  Did he conduct internet searches as this girl did, looking for information?  Did he look wistfully at the few photos I’d given him looking for signs of himself, as the girl in the movie had?  And if Zach actually did go to the trouble of finding him, as the story went in the movie, would Joe and his family receive him well?  Would there be new siblings?  A stepmother? Would he tell Zach stories of our short time together in a fond, wistful tone as depicted on my small screen?

I wasn’t sure if Zach ever still really thought about his biological father.  He certainly hadn’t mentioned him in ages.  I got up from the television screen and went back to the my computer and brought up Google. I typed in every name I could think of related to Joe, but of course it was a needle in a haystack.  There would be no way of finding someone who didn’t want to be found after all of this time.  I typed in my own name next, the maiden version of it, to see how hard it would be to find myself if someone were so inclined.  Of course, it took exactly two clicks to find an email address for me, thanks to my work on Rick’s websites since before I was married.  Both married and maiden versions of my name were floating out there in various places.

I closed my eyes and tried to think of the aunt’s name, the one who had met me for coffee a few times and had come over to my house with Joe’s grandmother.  What was it?   Pat, with a strange last name.  Her married name.   A few different search term strings and I’d found her posting recent messages on a gun rights website.  A click of her profile revealed a current email address.

I got up from the computer and went to the bathroom to splash water on my face.  What to do with this information?  Should I write her, or should I leave well enough alone, knowing that if anyone in that family (including the obviously web savvy aunt) had wanted to find Zach and I, they would have done so already.

I stared back at my reflection in the mirror for a full five minutes, not finding any answers in my sad, tired eyes.

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