last fall, i typed his name into google as i'd done hundreds of times before, but this time there he was.
so i paid one of those shitty sites that does public records searches. through it, i found aunts and uncles and cousins and a living grandmother.
she was so happy to hear from me. she sent family photos and stories about my long-deceased grandfather: a baptist minister who lost both hands in a coal mining accident.
linda said my father was excited to hear from me, but he was in poor health (was i assumed was a polite euphemism for "a drunk") and didn't have email.
"I am sorry to tell you that your father passed away yesterday. Please know we are here if you want to talk."
"He desperately tried to make a life for himself but the drinking won," says aunt linda
i'd always hoped i'd get a chance to glimpse the man my mom said he was when he wasn't drinking. but addiction is so insidious.
also: you do NOT have all the time in the world. do that thing you're putting off.