Sunday, March 16, 2008

6 Degrees


Jaymie, Coach Nonoy and Dondi. Image courtesy of Jaymie.


Here's a story I've been holding on for the past week that's kind of cool in a 6 degrees of seperation kind of way.

Last week I was at Jaymie's TheBullrunner blog reading about her swim classes. Unfortunately like Sarah and Addy she has been injured and finding new ways to get her workout fix. She started taking swimming classes in preparation for possible entry into triathlon pursuits. On the eight and last class, with camera in hand, she took pictures of her coach and classmates. One guy in particular looked familiar to me, he reminded me of someone - it was in his face. Detail oriented as Jaymie is, she had name and occupation down in the captions. After re-reading a light bulb went off in my head, "nah it can't be". I verified the last name with Jaymie and it turns out I was right.

My biological father has 7 children. Four from a previous marriage, 1 from an affair during said previous marriage and 2 from his second marriage. Yours truly is the kid between marriages - the love child (insert gasps here). I've met all except one. Dondi, the name of this half-brother, I have met once and briefly about 15 years ago. I still talk to Alex, our father and he updates me on the other kids. It's how I knew that Dondi was a lawyer, living in Manila, married with at least one child (just had his second recently). I don't know Dondi, we never kept in touch. I don't know what their side of the family thinks of me and frankly it doesn't keep me up at night; however, there is something exciting about finding him. He's my half brother after all. Pretty trippy I feel.

To this day I still have a connection to our dad Alex. I see him when I pass through Manila, he's passed through San Francisco a couple of times. We have a good friendship and I'm totally okay with that.

Growing up without a father did screw me up but it wasn't something I realized until later – after I was transformed into a better human being by my step dad who I now recognize as the father figure in my life. A retired Lieutenant Commander in the Navy with 22 years of service, I met him a month before my 12th birthday and he continued to whup my butt into shape until I moved out my first year of college. He never laid a hand on me once but he always got me to do what needed to be done. A leader of men, that's my step dad. My stepbrother on the other hand, yeow, he had his moments growing up and sometimes he paid for it, hahaha sucker. As you can see I turned out just fine. I run 100-mile ultra marathon's for pete's sake, it takes a sane and balanced person to do something like that. You don't have to be super athlete, just need to get your shiz together.

Anyway I'm starting to babble about old times. I'm glad to see that Dondi is involved in something healthy. Jaymie says that he's new to triathlon. I hope he keeps it up. In our dad's family there is a history of heart disease, diabetes and asthma.

19 comments:

  1. Wow, that's a true, small world, kind of story!

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  2. Rick, I'm glad to play my little part (albeit accidentally!) in your finding your long lost brother again. I don't know what will come of this but I'm hoping that you guys find a way to connect. Sayang naman diba?

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  4. Anonymous7:11 PM

    Rick, that's a nice story.I think you should find a way to connect with Dondi and the rest.

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  5. We'll see Jaymie, maybe next time I'm in town I'll look him up. I've no idea to proceed, such an awkward thing. Cool but a bit awkward.

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  6. wow pretty cool Rick...and ya u should reach out a bit if ur back in the area...i'm sure it's awkward for him as well.

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  7. Whoa - very cool! What a great sequence of events. You should definitely make the connection.

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  8. That is some awesome story! thanks for sharing.

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  9. Wow Rick, that is incredible!! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. spamsiwan9:54 PM

    That's insane! Such a small world!

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  11. That is a really neat story, and I hope that you are able to connect. Obviously, you have some shared interests.

    Thanks for sharing such a personal story, Rick. The "6 degrees of separation" stuff always amazes me!

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  12. Wow that is i-n-s-a-n-e!! What are the chances of that? And thanks for sharing a bit of the life with us ;D Very cool!

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  13. HA! It takes a special person to notice my matchy matchy! My tri suit matches too. LOL!!

    BTW, I keep forgetting to tell you I still have a box of cookies for you that I will get mailed one of these days! :>D

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  14. J~Mom: I thought you just either sold them all or ate my box:) I think it's cool that you got J~Dad involved in the production of the training videos. As for noticing the color in your gear. I'm a graphic designer, my job has trained me to be sensitive to that kind of stuff.

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  15. Squirt =P7:58 AM

    I like the use of "shiz".
    The end. =]

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  16. You are going to make me cry.

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  17. Rick, I feel that there is some divine intervention of sort with what just happened. You should pursue the "connection" next time you're there.Awkward? hell yes, but who cares? It's cool...I got connected with my half sister years ago and enjoying the relationship till today.

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  18. Anonymous3:39 AM

    Hi Rick,

    The Gaston family is well known here for excellence in sports. We have had national team members and champions in basketball, football,tennis, and especially golf. I was a national team player in ten-pin bowling. So it is in your genes. Dondi is also into biking, practical shooting, boxing,and golf. Don't worry I'll get you two together next time you come here. Your other siblings are in Virginia, New York, and LA.

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  19. Alex here. That last comment (anonymous) was mine. I am just learning how to use these blogs. Generation gap :)Sorry about that.

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