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Bracing for a Confrontation ... From the Past

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader


I wanted to confront my brother a few days ago. I don't get along with him and never have, and the jerk had the temerity to leave town without telling me. I had to find out from a customer.

A friend of mine basically said “what do you care? You never wanted to talk to him again anyway.” Well, okay, THAT part is true. But I never told him how much he hurt me. It wouldn't have changed anything, but I'm trying to let go of the past. I'm new at this stuff, so for me, letting go of the past means telling people who hurt me what I think of them. Cheaper than therapy!

But yeah, my brother left town and didn't leave me a forwarding address. And why should I care? Oh, I don't know. Maybe because he's my closest blood relative? Maybe because we jointly own property? Or maybe, just maybe, basic common courtesy? Silly, silly me. He thinks I'm a loser, so I'm not worth courtesy. Right. Got it. I guess if anything happens to the house, I can keep all of the insurance money.

But fate intervened. I was fuming Saturday night, thinking of the things I'd say to my brother once I got him on the phone, Googling several permutations of my brother's name, and only WhitePages.com had any info—for a price. Forget that. I sent my brother a message via Facebook, but it looked like he hadn't been on for a while, plus we weren't even friends online, never mind IRL. I ended up deleting it. I wasn't about to pay to find out specifically where he was, but my searching found something else. I'm an emotional person, but I never expected to go from furious to … crying, over another relative.

My brother was the first-born, so he ended up with an ethnically spelled first name, an ethnic middle name and last name. Child number three ended up with an old lady first name, Caucasian stripper middle name, and ethnic last name. Plugging in his names brought up numerous results, but one stood out. Soler. A musician. What did dad say about HIS dad? He had his own orchestra. A thousand people attended my grandfather's funeral. Could it be …

I clicked on the YouTube video and listened. The clicks and pops of an actual record were shocking after decades of digital. I heard an orchestra playing music with a Spanish flair. The uploader had a little bit of info about the orchestra. The blurb ended with Carmelo Diaz Soler's date of death. June 21, 1942. My dad was never fond of Father's Day because that's when his dad died of a heart attack. I had found my grandfather. And I cried.

It was such an emotional derailment. From furious to weeping. THAT had never happened to me before. It was weird and magical and jarring. Some stranger had records of my grandfather's music, and took the time to upload them to YouTube. Had my father ever played his father's music for us? Did he even own any of his records? It seems incredible to me that he never did. Or had he, and I just didn't remember it, or didn't think it was cool? Did my father roll his eyes at his father's music the way generations of children do? Had I ever heard the music before this?

The experience was totally unexpected. These things don't happen to me often, but they seem to be happening more. These weird little serendipitous moments, the expectations that get flipped, the moment when the universe makes itself known by saying, “Hey. We know where you think you want to go. But today, you're going in a different direction. And it's going to be better than where you'd planned to go, because you really don't want to go there. At least, not now. Maybe someday.”

My confrontation with my brother will have to wait.

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