Archive for September, 2017

 My biological father

Something amazing happened!!

R.I.P. Harvey John Forstner

Hubby was up in the Bay Area a couple weeks ago for a work conference and on his way out he stopped by my biological father’s gravesite for me, to snap some photos. I discovered that my birth father, Harvey, was buried there after ordering his death certificate recently. Tammy and I hope to drive up there together some day and pay our respects but with our schedules and my back issues it will be hard to manage a 5+ hour drive there and 5+ hrs back for a while.

I get so teary-eyed just looking at this photo because it’s the most I’ve ever felt like he was a real person. I am struggling to find a photo of him. The Universe understands how desperate I feel to see his face but I will have to wait I guess. That’s the hardest part of this process I think, is knowing that people know things or have pictures and not being able to obtain them because you can’t locate them, or family members are not in a space to share them (or dig through stuff and find them). It’s really hard.

Anyway, he is buried at the Lone Tree Cemetery in Hayward and I thought it was rather fitting that his site was located near this one tree…don’t you think?

Another interesting thing I learned from his death certificate is that at the time of his death he worked as a painter at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. My biological brother, Danny, who suffers from paranoia and schizophrenia, told me something along these lines when I met him at the Metropolitan State Hospital some time last year (Danny was receiving the care he needed as a result of dealing with some consequences he faced from losing our mother). He had said that my biological father had fallen off a ladder while painting after having a heart attack and died as a result.

Beverly Wilshire Hotel (above)
(Above) Death Certificate for Harvey indicating cause of death and other pertinent information.

I had been conceived in my mother’s belly 5 months prior to Harvey’s death. Harvey, my father, was only 61 years old when he died. That’s young.

However – he was 61 when he helped conceive me…Dang! And let’s not forget that my birth mother was 41 years old when she had me in February of 1983. Wow!

Some background:

Harvey was born and grew up in Seymour, Wisconsin, where his parents (Carl & Hattie) grew up. Their parents (Wilhelm & Caroline) settled there from Pomerania, Prussia in 1871 (which no longer exists today, but is basically where the western most northern point of Poland is now.)

Side Note: Prussia included Schleswig Holstein where my maternal grandfather migrated from in 1924!

(Above) Prussia in the German Empire 1871-1918

Wilhelm & Caroline were farmers and helped found the town of Seymour, WI in the early 1870s.

Harvey joined the US Army in 1940 at age 19 and fought in WW II. His father passed in 1943 at the age of 69 when he was only 22 years old. Harvey and Helen (my birth mom) had both lost their fathers at a young age and I wondered if they connected with that at all?

Harvey later married a Ms. Genevieve G. and had three children – my half-siblings! I have attempted to reach out to one of the half-siblings but received no response. I would very much like to be in touch with that side of the family but sometimes you have to let go and let the universe take its course.

When Harvey passed, although he was living in Canoga Park, CA (east of Van Nuys) he was buried in Hayward, CA – waaaay north…which makes me wonder if that’s where his daughter (listed on the death certificate) lived at the time he passed in 1982…and if she still lives there?


I remember my hesitation in finding my birth family I held onto for a long time, and understand the fear and preference for family members not to open a can of worms. But on the other hand, finding and meeting my birth family has filled a hole in my heart that I didn’t realize was fully missing until it was filled. Does that make sense? Even though not all the details have been positive, and it’s rather complex at times, even painful, it has all been worth it in the end, to know myself.

So, I hope they become open to meeting me. Because I think it has the potential to heal, and bring light to a dark circumstance. And I think I’m a pretty okay person to know.

Cross your fingers.

Thanks for following ❤️


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