All help All
Are you still with me? If you are, then you've reached the moment of the big reveal. From 1975 when my daughter was born until about 2 years ago (2020) my daughter always believed  her father was Kenny Rowe. I never for one moment thought he was an actual possibility. All one had to do was do some simple math. That's why we have fingers and toes! For my daughter to be his, she would have had to have been born prematurely at about 7 months. Have you ever heard of a 7 month old fetus weighing over 9 lbs? 

I'm to blame for this lie and do take full responsibility for telling it and for letting others tell it. You see, way back when I was still in Chipley before I came back to Pensacola to give birth and I told Kenny I was pregnant.  But before I could tell him it wasn't his, he beat me to the punch by assuming that he was the father.  Instead of setting the record straight right then and there, I got my ass bent out of shape when he jumped in before I could tell him and he beat me to the punch by expecting me to get an abortion. I guess his initial reaction about my situation pissed me off and I just let the whole thing ride and let him continue to believe a lie. For the longest time, I thought my secret would never come back to bite me. I thought my secret was safe and that I was protecting my daughter when in reality all I was doing was taking the easy way out by protecting myself from dealing with the truth.

Like most lies, they may not catch up to you at first and sometimes they never catch up to you, but anyone with a conscience eventually feels guilty for telling a lie especially when it's a huge lie. At that point, any honorable person will decide to finally do the right thing if they can. Sure, I felt pangs of guilt over the years, but I wasn't ready to do the right thing until a few years ago. About the time I decided to come clean, I also decided to do some genealogy research so my daughter could at least have a more complete picture of the gene pool that created her. Before that all she knew were all the kooks on my side of her tree.  Doing genealogy research has been an on again off again project of mine for about 20+
 years and include being related to many of the Salem witches, Laura Ingalls Wilder, several passengers on the Mayflower, William the Conqueror and thousands of weirdos and misfits that have given me a certain flair.

Telling my daughter the truth was difficult, but I did it without making any excuses for my deceitful behavior. I did what I did many years ago and it was wrong. Period! I was then faced with an entire new set of decisions to make. I figured tracking Donnie down would be relatively easy, but that wasn't the case. Doesn't Murphy's Laws state "nothing is ever as easy as you think it will be?" For the last two years I've chased a "ghost." At some point, I thought "maybe he's dead," but if that was true, there would have been a record of his death and I couldn't find one. 

When I started my "project, I had my daughter do a DNA test through to give me a place to start my search. Until very late on August 10, 2018, I wasn't able to connect all the dots that would lead me to finding Donnie. Up until then I found plenty of people who showed up as DNA matches for my daughter, but the closest match I had to work with was a couple first and second cousins. Those people never responded to my request for help filling in the blank spots on my daughter's tree. Go figure! I guess on August 10th all the stars and planets were in perfect alignment because I finally located him. The Donnie Arnold I knew long ago is Martin Eudon Arnold. A couple details I discovered made me laugh out loud. The first was that he lives in a place I lived about 30 years ago. It really is a small world when you get right down to it! The next thing that amused me was that I found out when I located him that his birthday was on August 11th...the very next day. Happy birthday, Donnie!

As I dug deeper, my amusement turned into a really sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I discovered out he had gotten married in 1973.  OMG! Was he married when we had our little brouhaha in Panama City Beach?  The answer to that was no. He had gotten divorced the month before I met him in August 1974. I guess I was both his birthday gift and celebratory freedom lay that summer.  He did however manage to get his ex-wife pregnant after they divorced and she had a baby boy a month after my daughter was born. He also got married in 1988, but his wife died in 1991. Since that time, he appears to have remained single or at least never married again.

Now, I'm faced with what should I do next. Should I do nothing and just be content with handing my daughter all the info I've found or should I rock Donnie's world by contacting him with a "hey dude, remember me and guess what we did?"  I think my daughter deserves an opportunity to know her father if he's open to that, but I definitely don't want to hurt her by throwing her to the wolves. I have a letter written and saved on my computer, but I don't know who I should send it to. Should I send it to his two adult children and let them be the bearer of good tidings and joy or should I bite the bullet and send him the letter? I'm not usually this indecisive, but then again I've never been in this situation before.  Any advice anyone wants to toss my way will be deeply appreciated. I'm seriously running on empty. I haven't had a normal sleep pattern for a long, long time. I feel anxious whenever I start thinking about this and I just want to put this behind me once and for all, but I can't do that until I do something...and hopefully that something I ultimately decide to do is the right thing for everyone concerned.  I used to keep an 8-ball on my desk at work for situations that required decision making. Maybe I should dust it off and consult it now!

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