Originally published 6.19.11
This is an old school photo of my mother, Mavis Jackson, with my father Joe McCray, Jr. that I scanned. They look so happy!
This time last year, I was extremely depressed on Fatherâ€™s Day because I was coping with the truth that I had discovered via a DNA test that was taken September 2009.
For those who just started reading my blogs, as a birthday gift to me and my mother, I decided to discover the truth as to who my biological father is. Due to my motherâ€™s circumstances surrounding my birth, I had two men as possibilities. One man, Joe McCray, had been deceased since 1988 and the other one, Earl Rideaux, was alive somewhere in Houston. I chose to find Earl and ask him to take the DNA test if he would agree. See, Earl was the one I was told all along was my biological father. But my mother confessed to me ten years ago that she was honestly unsure.
The days leading up to the DNA test, I prayed that it would be him. Then, regardless of his shortcomings in the past, I would have a chance to have a father-son relationship. We took the test on Sept. 17 of that year and the results came back Sept. 22 as 0% probability. I was crushed and so was Earl.
So at that moment I had to face reality. The man that God used to bring me to birth is dead, yet, he lives in me and through me. Interestingly, Joe McCray had been a part of my life when I was a little boy but I was told he was my â€œGodfather.â€ So I have fond memories of him, but never knew he was my real dad. My mother didnâ€™t either, however she is elated that we have closure to that question.
I went through a slight depression about it but my journey didnâ€™t stop there!
Last June, I obtained my fatherâ€™s death certificate, did extensive research at the library, and gained help from others which led me to July 4, 2010â€”the day I found my dadâ€™s two living brothers and sister. Since that time I have been bonding with Uncle Larry, Uncle Curly, Aunt Marilyn, my cousin Mickey and meeting more family members. It has been unreal and a blessing. I even went to a Houston Rockets game with one of them and I felt like a little nephew for realâ€”even though Iâ€™m 32 years old. (smile)
Last September I visited my dadâ€™s gravesite for the first time ever. It was emotionally painful and I couldnâ€™t stay long. Since that time Iâ€™ve had people to help me to relieve aspects of the mental weight connected to that lost and I feel happier today about it all.
To mark the anniversary of my dadâ€™s birth, I hosted a family gathering this February to bring together my dadâ€™s and motherâ€™s families for a heartfelt reunion.
I no longer will have a fatherless Fatherâ€™s Day, because today I get to visit with my two uncles, through whom my father lives every day. He lives through me also.
Anything is possible.
Happy Fatherâ€™s Day!
P.S.-I am finishing a book about this entire experience and God-Willing it is releasing in September.