Darth Vader is not my father

I’ll start with some writing stuff. Then I’ll answer some questions about life in the cult.

You can find the newest chapter, which is chapter 30, of Servant of the King, right here. I wouldn’t be surprised if I added to this short chapter during a rewrite, but it ends at a logical place for now.

Now, if you’re a regular reader, you know I haven’t posted in nearly a week. I can explain. No, it would take too long, let me sum up. In one word: exhaustion.

Sometimes I get to a point where the need for sleep overrides everything. And that was the case over the last week. I simply wasn’t functioning the way I need to if I want to write goodly. (Yes, I know that’s bad grammar. Yes, I’m leaving it because this is MY blog.)

So I can also post only one chapter this week too. I have to finish a book and send a review of it off to the the people who asked me to review it. I have to have that done by Friday morning, so that’s taking precedence when I have free time.

I will also be only able to post one chapter the next week too, since I finally got the information I needed in order to write another article I was asked to do. This one is for BYU and I really want to have it done now.

And there is the plan, hokay?

Okay, onto the very important point that DARTH VADER is NOT my father. See, my story is way different from Anakin and Luke’s. Not only do I not have much ability with the Force and can’t seem to find a lightsaber, I also found out who my father was when I was six or seven and he didn’t wear a black cloak and menacing helmet/face mask.

In fact, my father is very kind, and is a very devoted father. He was an exceptional person in the cult, because he made far more effort than most of the parents in the cult to be there for his two children: me and his daughter (my half sister, also known as my SSS). He was more successful with my little sister, and that is another story.

So when I was about seven, I kind of got curious, as far as I can remember. I wondered if this one guy was my father. I was surrounded by men and women, and I knew who my mother was; I remained fairly near her side until I was about seven or so.

Yes, the days, years and timelines are a bit hazy. No, I’m not going to apologize. You’ll just have to forgive me.

In any case, I asked this one guy if he was my father, because I remember that I’d been told that the Brit my mother was married to, sort of, was my father. Turns out, that British guy is in fact on my birth certificate.

But he’s not my father.

I asked this other guy if he was my father. Keep in mind that I called him by his first name, which was the name he adopted when he joined the cult. This name was Enoch. Many of you are pronouncing that /EE nuck/, but I pronounced it /EE nock/. I gather that this pronunciation is either east coast USA or British.

So when I asked Enoch this question, he told me he would get back to me. Many months later, maybe as much as a year or more; I’m not sure, he got back to me. He was my dad. He explained the logistics of what he called an affair with my married mother, but it sounds as if this kind of thing was quite commonplace among the cult.

My mother and real father got married, in the eyes of the cult, sometime around the time that all of this happened, although again, the timeline is fuzzy. I was their ring-bearer.

I was also the ring-bearer at my mother’s fourth and last wedding.

So that’s my parentage. My family, growing up consisted of two half-brothers. My oldest brother, Daniel, knew life before the cult. He was brought into the cult by our mother. It sounds as if she left her first husband to join the cult and somehow she retained custody of Daniel.

Daniel was never any too pleased about being forced to live in this cult thing. But he was my hero and he treated me like his brother. I loved and idolized him. When he was sixteen, we were in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, in a house on a property that was incredibly idyllic. A huge, rolling lawn. A large pond that we could skate on in the frigid winters. A huge pine and deciduous forest surrounding all of that.

It was at about that time that he got a job at a Dunkin’ Donuts in town. Soon after, he left to move in with a friend. Right after he left, his friend’s car disappearing off down the long driveway, I  thought I saw him leap out of the trees back into view, calling out, “I’m back!”

It was a hallucination or something.

I heard from him a few more times up there, then once more a couple years later, when I was in Denver.

He was killed in a bad drug deal (I guess they’re all bad) in California when I was about 13. He was the dealer, although I don’t know if that was his profession or if he was just trying to convince a friend to try what he had. The friend was mentally disturbed and shot him.

Despite plenty of opportunity and very little substantial reason to not, I never touched drugs of any kind. I think my motivation is pretty clear.

My other brother, Matthias, who is also older, got married a couple years ago and now lives and works at Oxford, yes in England, with his wife. She is Kamal and she is from India. She is wonderful and my brother and I stay in better touch than I deserve. I’m not good with that yet, despite my desires to be better. I am grateful to have him and to be able to chat with him when we get the chance. Those two are either finished or finishing their PhDs in something extraordinarily advanced.

My sister, Emma, got married this June to a nifty fellow whom she’s known since soon after she was born, or something like that. We are close, and I am eternally grateful for that.

And I’m married and have five kids with #6 on the way.

So that’s the state of my family.

I don’t understand my mother’s decision to not be called ‘Mom.’

I don’t understand how so many people seemed so willing to let others who had no vested interest in their children raise those children.

I don’t understand relationships very well. I don’t know the bond that I, as a son, could have had with my mother or father. My father and I are close now; I love him and really like spending time with him. But there’s no denying that the bond I share with my kids is something I will never be able to share with him as my father.

I still love him. I still want to spend as much time with him as possible. I enjoy his company, appreciate what he does and has done for me, and am blessed by his love for me.

And that’s enough for now.

Next time: Cooking and other practical jokes.

About jaredgarrett

Jared Garrett is the author of Beat, a YA scifi thriller, and its forthcoming sequel, both published by Future House Publishing. A new series, debuting in January 2016 and also published by Future House, kicks off with Lakhoni, a fast-paced rescue adventure in a world reminiscent of Aztec culture, to be released in January 2016. He self-published Beyond the Cabin, a novelization of his childhood in a cult, in December 2014. Both Beat and Beyond the Cabin were Whitney Award nominees, and his story Song of the Wind, received honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. In addition to writing, he's spent fifteen years in adult education and is an accomplished public speaker and workshop leader.
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