Yes—I have escaped! I didn't think I would make it out, but I finally am freed from the aliens that captured me two months ago! What—you don't believe me? They said you wouldn't. Oh well. Anyway, I knew it had been a while since I last posted, but TWO MONTHS? Geez, somebody needs to keep better tabs on me or something. ;-) Actually, I'm quite surprised at how difficult these last few pieces to the puzzle are to write. I have thought about it and talked about it many times, but putting it in writing has been something different altogether. I think, as I have told a couple of you in person over the past few weeks, that it's because the events I'm writing about now are still so recent. To actually write about them really stirs up emotions in ways that talking about them doesn't. It's very odd. So I apologize yet again, and hope that you will accept my apology along with the next installment of my story…………
It's actually somewhat fitting that it took me a while to write this chapter of the story, because it also took me a while to write back to Frank. When I received his e-mail and told Jon that I didn't know quite what to do with it, he immediately said, "Don't write him back right now. It took him years to make the effort to contact you. It is perfectly acceptable—and probably necessary—for you to take a few days or weeks to think about things before you write him back." So that's what I did.
During those days, as I thought and prayed about this whole crazy situation, I was amazed at how disconnected I felt from it all. I knew that whether or not I met Frank, whether or not he liked me, it really didn't matter. (OK, let's be honest. If I had decided to meet the guy, gotten myself all psyched up for it, and then he looked me in the eye and said, "I'm only here to tell you face-to-face to leave me alone and never bother me again!", I probably wouldn't have handled it well. But it would only have affected me in the short term—I would have gotten over it and then just thought he was a jerk. ;-) )
I also realized that this was truly my decision. No one would be surprised if I wanted to meet him, but no one would judge me if I didn't. It was very freeing and allowed me to process everything much more objectively.
And throughout those days, one statement that my mom had made just kept rolling around in my head: "I'd just hate to see you miss this chance, then regret it down the road when it's too late." That sort of summed it up for me. My dilemma wasn't really about whether or not I wanted to meet him right then—it was about whether or not I wanted to meet him ever. Because if I turned him down, who knows what might happen. Maybe he'd be so angry that he humbled himself and I'd shut the door in his face that he wouldn't ever be open to the possibility again. Or maybe he'd move far away and meeting would be too difficult. Or maybe he'd even pass away before we had this opportunity again.
And so, six weeks later, I e-mailed him back and told him that Jon and I would like to meet him and Janet.