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 family members are not in a space to share them or 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

(These pics are from the inter-webs)

 

Death Certificate for Harvey indicating cause of death and other pertinent information.


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

Harvey was born and grew up in Seymour, Wisconsin, where his parents (Carl & Hattie) grew up after Carl’s 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 -Prussia included Schleswig Holstein where my maternal grandfather migrated from!). 

Prussia in the German Empire 1871-1918


They 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 passing in 1943 at the age of 69. 

Harvey later married a Ms. Genevieve G. and had three children named Christine Ann, Charlene Jo and Carl (after his father) Von. I have attempted to reach out to these half siblings of mine but to no avail. I even found one of their children’s names on Ancestry as a DNA match but she has not returned any messages. I would very much like to be in touch with that side of the family but sometimes you don’t get what you want. 

See, Harvey divorced their mother and knocked up my mom, Helen – twice – out of wedlock (gasp!), so there may be some hard feelings there. Not to mention, my biological mother was paranoid schizophrenic and so we don’t know what sort of drama may have happened that could have involved Harvey’s family, as Helen was living with him for a time. 

When he 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?

If it is the case that his primary children don’t care to know me or Tammy I can respect that…sort of. I say ‘sort of’ because it took a lot of years for me to be very proactive in finding my birth family…because I was scared of what I would be opening the door to. So, I understand the fear and preference not to open a can of worms (if thats what it is). 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, and 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 but don’t hold your breath.

Thanks for following ❤️

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