I know this Dutch boy. He’s my brother from another mother…

I have been blessed to have 2 dads during my (still seems like) short life here.

The one I refer to in day-to-day convo’s most is Bob. He married my mom when I was in high school. After just a couple years, I knew I wanted to call him “dad”. He never asked me to call him that…he was happy to go by Bob. Even when I was in his History class in high school, I would accidently call him Bob instead of Mr. S and we would laugh and go on. He told me he would never try to replace my other dad, and from that moment on, I knew that was right and my fear of my first dad being forgotten or replaced went by the wayside.


My other dad is Ben. He died when I was 11. While I was away at a friends house overnight, he had a heart attack and was gone within a few hours. I vividly remember the next morning; thinking knowing something was eerily wrong without actually knowing anything had gone wrong. I’m sure this is part of why I am so sensitive to my instincts and “feelings” about things. It’s also, subconsciously I think, why I dislike going away overnight

Ben had been married before my mom and with his first wife, had a son they named Rodger. He is ten years older than me. Nora (Rodgers mom) and my dad are from The Netherlands. She & Rodger returned there after his birth, where he has lived nearly all of his life. Even so, we had a very special bond. During my younger childhood, he would come to the States for a few weeks at a time to visit, usually during the summer. After he was 18, he moved to the US and lived with our dad for a few years. It was during that time that Ben passed away and soon after, Rodger moved back to Holland.

I have seen him twice since then – 2 times, in the last 18 years.

Rodger brought his (then) girlfriend Angelique to America for the first time back in 1992. I don’t remember a whole lot about it, except that we went to the beach for the afternoon. Most of my memories of being 12 are a little fuzzy. Much like my hair was back then.

And then, one afternoon in March 99 I was sitting at my soon-to-be newlywed apartment where Brian was living, when the phone rang. It was a man looking for Brian. He was very vague as to what he was calling about, except that he insisted on talking to Brian only and demanded to know where he was. It irritated me to no end that he would not discuss anything with me. I was about to be Brian’s wife and this man should talk to me about whatever he needed if he thought something was going to get accomplished! He got mad and hung up the phone and then called back wanting to know when he would be home. I couldn’t believe the nerve!

I was really irritated after those calls. I sitting around, waiting for Brian to arrive at the apartment and all of a sudden, like a bolt of lightning – it hit me. Rodger was the man on the phone! He had tried to disguise his voice, but I caught on…I called Brian. “He’s here isn’t he? He’s HERE!?” Sure enough, Brian who can not keep a surprise had been keeping the surprise of his years from me … Rodger and his family had flown in to surprise me at our wedding. It was surreal.

The last time I saw, much less spoke to Rodger was when he left our wedding reception, 9 and a half years ago.

Tomorrow, I will see him again. He, his wife Angelique, and their gorgeous children Stacy & Joey. We will have 12 hours give or take a few together – until the next time, year unknown.

We will visit our dad’s grave. We may go take in a round or two of mini-golf like we used to – only this time, with our own kids. And then later in the day, we will go to the park for a picnic dinner with extended family – uncles, aunts, cousins … and as quickly as we said hello, it will again be time to say goodbye.


~ by hthr on July 26, 2008.

5 Responses to “I know this Dutch boy. He’s my brother from another mother…”

  1. Sounds like a sweet reunion! I hope you have a wonderful time!

  2. I love your blogs. They are so great. (and I don’t have time to read blogs!)

  3. I’m so excited for you, Heather! I hope your time together is everything you hoped for and more. Miss ya!

  4. Oh my. When you said “He’s here!” I teared up, Isn’t it amazing how people we may not see much are still such a part of who we are? SO happy for you!

  5. […] 9.5 hours after 9.5 years You may already know from my post last week that I had one day – 9 hours actually – to see my brother and his family for the first time in […]

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