I wish I knew how to link to this blog I had been reading for the past several minutes. But there are no permalinks to the individual pages and no links to the archives either. I’ll do it the best way I can because I find it very, very significant.
The blog entry quotes a letter from the daughter of “the other woman.” It talks about what it’s like to live in a very judgmental society.
My father had an “other woman”. When he died, she was the one beside him. My mother let her make the arrangements for the cremation although I suspect it was more out of a desire to look martyr-like in the eyes of relatives and friends.
We held no animosity toward each other, she and I. They were together far longer than he and my mother were. But I don’t have half-brothers and half-sisters. In all honesty, I can’t say I would have been as generous if there were, especially if I ever considered them as competition for my father’s affections.
I know, sins of the father shouldn’t visit on the children. It’s not the children’s fault. But family relationships are never simple. Even siblings in the same household often compete for the parents’ attention. What more with half-siblings?
I can sympathize with the letter writer in that blog I was reading. But I’m looking at it from the perspective of the legitimate children too. They are as much victims as the illegitimate children. From a very extreme point of view, I can only say that such complications, emotional trauma and social stigma can all be avoided if there was no marriage in the first place. Then, all children would be equal in the eyes of society and the eyes of the law. They will just all be the children of their respective fathers and mothers.
I had a friend back in college. She seemed to change overnight from a bubbly girl to a melancholy one after her father’s death. She always believed she had a complete and happy family. Then, her father died and she discovered that they were the “other family” although, all her life, she and her father lived in the same house. How do you deal with shit like that? Start hating your father because, all your life, you lived a lie?
*Edited at 11.59 p.m. to supply permalink to referenced blog.