Aimee Anderson

Apr 10, 2010

The Search for my Father

Welcome to my first entry. Let me be clear: The Search for my father is an opportunity to explore another angle in my writing project. So much of my life is filled by memories of my young mom finding her place in the world. In some ways, my memoir is a collective coming-of-age--how we learned to accept our place in the world together. The settings range from a small factory town in Connecticut to a horse farm in Central Florida. Glaringly absent, however, is the story of my father.

I want to use this blog as an opportunity to engage with the public, my potential readers, about my quest. As you already know, finding my father could be anti-climactic. In other words, he may be dead, or he may not have any interest in meeting me, but the outcome isn't as important as the process.

Up until now, I haven't in all my 34 years actively tried to find him. In bits and pieces, I've grasped a sense of who he was. Below, you'll see a list of possible facts about my dad. But for most of my life, the word dad was a foreign concept, one with a hint of glamour, kind of like the word caviar.

I met him once, when I was 6. Mom didn't tell me that he was my father before our visit. The three of us went for lunch. Mom allowed me to violate our strict vegetarian diet and I ordered tuna fish. Also, I drank chocolate milk through a straw and blew bubbles, and for once, Mom didn't complain. I sat next to him. He was fair skinned. Thick with muscle and fat. His smile was broad and easy. We ate at a crowded, dark diner. It was spring. After lunch, we went to a park and sat in grass and listened to Jazz music. The world was bright and cheery and I remember sunlight falling onto all of us. Did I sit still? Did I nap on our blanket? Did I learn his name? I can't recall. I remember Mom fidgeted, looked off into the distance a lot, and the man who was my father looked into my face often, and his attention made me feel light, pretty, and alive.

After the park, he dropped us off at our two family apartment. Mom and I trudged up the steps of our second-story home. As I trooped to the living room window to watch him drive off, I said, "He was a nice guy." To which Mom said, "He's your dad." The word hung in the air for years, and it took me until I was 12 to say another word about him. Perhaps I felt that asking about him would hurt her, would imply that she was not enough. So I kept my curiosity shut tight.

Once when I was in college I was tempted to find out more about him. I had considered selling my eggs for extra cash, but the journey to finding my dad seemed too arduous at the time, so I never looked him up, also, I never sold any eggs.

By the way here's my list:

His last name is Ward
He was a performance artist
He had another family--wife, kids
He lived in Connecticut
He wanted to be a part of my life

The first step I've taken is contacting my Uncle Mike. He lives in Connecticut and is practiced at tracing our family's genealogy. While he never knew my father, he's agreed to try and help me find him. I will be keeping you posted.


  1. I feel honored to read your first post and comment on it! Your personal story is engaging, and you write about it with grace. Best of luck both in your search and with your blog. I'm eager to learn what you find.

  2. Lisa--Thank you so much! It's very strange to have put myself out here like this and to wonder how others perceive it. Your positive reaction has lifted my Sunday morning mood! Also, I joined your blog as well. I'm a teacher of advanced students in English--9th graders. They keep me on my toes!

  3. Wow! What a brave approach to blogging. I wish you luck with both your quest and your writing.
    Thanks for linking to our blog.

  4. I wish you luck in your are very brave to blog about it..