one came home


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I can’t excuse my past-and wish it was not even mine to have to explain.

There are secrets in my life that have never been told-even here,until now.

Yesterday I had a visitor. I have been waiting for this visit for over 27 years.

When her mother told me that she was going to have a baby she explained she was going to convince another man it was his. At that point I was relieved.

When her mother was killed 7 years later-I began to wonder and worry. I looked for information as for her whereabouts-and no one would tell me.

This is a small town-a rural area where everyone knows everyone…and everyones business. You can never be critical about a person not knowing if the person you are being critical might be a cousin or uncle…there are too many close ties,and none of them would allow me to know.

Ten years ago a young neighbor stopped to visit-he was showing off his new girl friend-yes,you guessed it…but it took me until yesterday for things to come to a full circle.

I noticed this girl immediately, yesterday she confided that she had the same reaction that night ten years ago! We both felt a strangeness about seeing each other.

After that meeting it took several months before I saw the young man again-I had still a curiosity about the young girl he brought by. We spoke about her and it became evident that this was the girl who had been hidden from me for all these years…I had photographs of her and her mother,and passed them on to her through her young man.

The young man died also-an auto accident had crippled him and pain medications took him away. He finally took too many. I thought he might have taken my questions with him.

A few years ago I was shopping in a big box builders store-and there she was! As she checked out my purchases we talked as quickly as we could-I tried to say what I could,but the line of customers behind me limited all that needed to be said.

A year later I saw her again-in the same store-and in the lumber section,it was easier to talk there! I expressed my urgency to speak with her alone-nearly begging her to meet sometime.

Two years have gone by since that time. Until yesterday I had not seen her nor heard anything about her.

Yesterday afternoon was ending a wonderful day-warm and sunshine! The mood inspired a drive to a local ice cream drive through. Nothing is close by at all being we are so rural here-so a trip to get a milkshake turned into a drive around the county to enjoy the new birth of grasses and flowering trees in exchange of the winter we had been having.

Once home I was meandering about the house and after about 30 minutes I noticed a note! It was from Brandi. She wanted to see me and talk!

How can one explain? We sat in the chairs outside to catch the last of the sunshine-and for the first time in our lives we talked. She explained that she was afraid to visit me and to talk about this-I told her how many long years have gone by and through all of them I had loved her!

She knew more than I thought she had been told-to my joy…she wants to know more-more to my joy! We agreed to be tested to learn exactly who we are to each other-but agreed no matter what chemistry says we are always father and daughter.

10 Responses to “one came home”

  1. bookwitchery Says:

    Honey, we’ve all done things we regret. It’s part of being human. But it sounds like you tried to do the right thing after you found out her mother was gone. And you KEPT trying. That says a lot about the kind of person you are.

    I’m on my way to work soon so this is posted in a bit of a rush….but wanted to say I’m glad you got your visit and you finally got your talk. May there be many more.

  2. mike e Says:

    Wow my friend you are full of surprises! Guess the innocence you lost in barracks d isn’t the only thing you’ve been missing, eh? Well, you can maybe never get your innocence back. But you’re daughter! I have a good feeling about this, Jay..

  3. Barbara Says:


    I stumbled across your blog today and I couldn’t find a way to email you privately, so I’m just going to do it this way.

    Your words are my words, your thoughts are my thoughts, your nightmares are my nightmares. I am a female survivor of Military Sexual Trauma.

    The Officer you reported to told you to “get used to it.” My NCO told me that, “If you got raped you should have given it up, If you got slapped you should have shut up.”

    I stayed with it, though. Because I loved the Army. I left active duty and went back into the National Guard. I remembered the Guard as a friendly place with GOOD NCOs that took care of their soldiers. I was physically assualted by one of those “good NCOs” and my chain-of-command did nothing. Well, not nothing, they ignored it. I continued on, got my dream job in Full-Time Training. Tried to make a life for my kids. Great money, security. This NCO wanted the job, too. He went after me every way possible. Finally, I had had enough and I filed the formal paperwork after making many complaints.

    This time they really did something. They discharged my A**. After 16+ years they made sure there would be no more problems. They took my retirement, my identity, my stripes, my life.

    Thank you for what you are doing. Because of you I have decided to start a blog of my own here, with my best friend, and keep getting the word out there. God Bless You, Brother. (I hope you don’t mind me referring to you as such) I hope that our unity can make a real difference today, and for future generations. Agent Orange has become a thing of the past, the military no longer uses it. Maybe we can make MST a problem of the past and be the last generation to live in this nightmare.

    • jayherron Says:

      Barbara…you are correct-I AM YOUR BROTHER, and I am so disturbed by your account of how being an American Soldier has become a nightmare-why is this? How can we ‘teach’ other countries about frredom if our own does not live up to standards-and protects its own? My email address is: A blog of your own is a great beginning-telling it all will help you heal (some-we never fully recover) and will help others come forward. We need numbers and numbers of us to take the step-the step to protect the soldiers of our future. BTW-I have an age old friend that served in the National Guard…he tells the same story as you,served his twenty-they refuse to pay his retirement benefits. This guy did two turns in Afghanistan?? Why are we so mistreated? Oh,my friend DID NOT suffer MST-yet he suffers from a back injury that he recieved while deployed. So sad-a warrior who needs to suffer and regret his duty-the military let him down too! peace….oh,and my SISTER…you contact me any time you need to do so!

  4. BJ Says:

    Hey, is Brandi the girl you pointed out to me that one day we were driving around, and you told me you had a feeling that she might be your daughter? I can tell this is not the same one from the schoolteacher, as that child would be at least 41 or 42–well, older than me, and I’m 41. You know I’m a reunited adoptee with my birthmother and 2 birth sisters. How did M&J take to their sister? Have you told them? Have they met? Is she married? Have kids? Are you going to introduce her to Granny Jo? It’s too bad she didn’t find you before Grandad died.

  5. BJ Says:

    Oh, that’s awful her mother was killed when she was little. Oddly, had something like that happened recently, you could’ve fought for custody having had a positive paternity test. At that time, I don’t know how it worked. It kills me how father’s rights are often pushed out, and the roles of fathers are trivialized.

  6. BJ Says:

    Yeah, okay, but was she the girl you pointed out to me that day? It’s pretty exciting to connect with her, isn’t it? You seemed to want to as I recall.

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