Week 11 Weigh In Day

It’s been one helluva week for me, so I honestly don’t even care that I didn’t lose weight this week, but instead I gained about 1.2lbs.

This week I bought 10 days worth of meals from Albertson’s because they were on sale for $1.69 each, but they aren’t the Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers Smart Ones, they are Signature Select which is a generic store brand. They taste good, and that’s really all that matters.

This week I also found my paternal father’s family and I found my brother, which I blogged about, so I’ve been celebrating and I have eaten things I shouldn’t have eaten, and honestly I just don’t care because I’m so happy right now.

The stress of trying to find someone is just unbelievable. But, I have closure now, so I don’t need to worry about being stressed out over trying to find my father. Right now my focus is getting to know my big brother. The weight will continue dropping as I continue eating healthy and continue going to the gym.

Yesterday at the gym I just felt like I was starving to death for some reason. I had to get off the treadmill after 35 minutes and I was going to go to Barnes & Noble next door to buy a croissant from the Starbucks, but then I noticed Planet Fitness had this big display with cookies that they were selling for $3. I didn’t care that it was that expensive, I just needed some food in my belly. I also didn’t care that it was 200 calories for just half of the cookie. I ate the whole damn thing. Deal with it lol. I also bought a box of generic organic nilla wafers and they were good, deal with that too lol.

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I FOUND My Brother

I cannot believe it, but I found my brother.

After I did the 23andMe and didn’t really find any useful information about my family, I decided to go to Ancestry and figure out how to populate my family tree. I started out with my mother’s side of the family, then with the help of a friend we narrowed down who my father was to one man who was born with his name in California in the 1940’s, and I actually found my father, but I wasn’t sure it was him. I discovered from a document that he had a son, so I went on a search for him, and contacted many people with his name on Facebook, that didn’t pan out. So I went to Google and a website called MyLife had information, including his name and birth date, age, and where he lived in the 90’s and it had an email address, so I emailed him.

After I emailed him I finally got a response from someone on Ancestry who told me that I had the right family, as you can see from my previous post I FOUND My Paternal Family. They didn’t know where my brother was, so I continued to wait for him to respond to my email, and a couple of days ago he finally responded.

My brother said in his reply email that the picture was small, but it did resemble his father, so we connected on Facebook and he was convinced that someone was trying to scam him or steal his identity, and who can blame him? I mean, there are so many scams out there, you literally can’t trust anyone. He wanted me to convince him before he would even talk to me, and I guess I did convince him because he acknowledges that I am his brother. I’m not going to ask him to take a DNA test, although I did take a DNA test with Ancestry and with 23andMe, so if he wants to be 100% sure, I will pay for the test, but I don’t think he will worry about it, but I will still ask him if he wants one.

Anyway, so we have talked with each other yesterday and today and he lives in Germany, so I can only talk with him from 8 am my time until 12 pm my time because he’s 9 hours ahead of me. I am very sad that we couldn’t be closer, but who knows, maybe one day I will be able to visit him in Germany. I’ve always wanted to go there, so maybe it will happen one of these days. But for now we will use Skype to communicate. It’s free and it’s not text, it’s a phone call where we can see each other. There might be a delay, but we will figure that out.

I am absolutely over the moon. Not only did I not know I had a brother, but I found him. I just can’t ask for anything more. I feel like I have accomplished my goal of finding my father, even though he has passed from this life. I feel like my brother and also the discovery of cousins and aunts and uncles is a bonus. I spent most of my life looking for one person, and I found many. I couldn’t be more happy. My search is finally over.

I FOUND My Paternal Father’s Family

After 33 years I finally found my paternal father’s family. Unfortunately, my paternal father has passed, he passed away a couple of years ago, but I found his family.

I’ve been searching for years. My aunt told me his name in 2002, but she didn’t have the correct spelling, so I was looking for different spellings of his last name. I have called people and asked if they had any information, but no one could give me anything, and they didn’t want to give me their email address so I could send them a picture.

Earlier I mentioned doing 23andMe and that didn’t really give me any information about my father since there were no siblings or 1st cousins who had done the test. I thought 23andMe was the most popular test, so that’s why I chose that one, but apparently AncestryDNA has even more people who tested their DNA because I was told you will find way more people there. So I did AncestryDNA, but the results still haven’t come back.

I was on Ancestry populating my tree and I started searching for my father through Military records. I was told by someone that the uniform he is wearing in this photo was a ROTC uniform by someone who is currently in ROCT at their school, so I just assumed that my father may have lied about going to Germany in the military, but that’s wrong, he was in fact in the military, but I couldn’t find any record of him being in the military.

I found a guy who was born in California in 1947 and he had a mother in California and the father listed for him was Stanley. I contacted the person who had listed Stanley as the father, and they told me that is false, and then they directed me to a document on Google Books that shows who his father and mother were, and even showed he had a son. So, I thought ok, well I’m pretty sure this is the guy, but I’m not absolutely positive. I corrected the parents and contacted the person who had his actual father listed on September 25th and she contacted me today, October 1st and she told me that I do have the correct family, that Ronald Leland Shurtleff IS my father. She asked me to email her the picture and to call her, so I emailed her and then I called her and she kept saying I was his son, but I kept asking her to look at the picture first to make absolutely 100% sure she could verify that the picture I sent her was Ronald Leland Shurtleff, so she looked and said Oh yeah, that’s him and your grandmother.

You have no idea how hard it has been not knowing who my father was for 48 years of my life. I knew my step father wasn’t my real father, I just knew it, and my mother told me the truth when I was 15 that I had another father out there in the world. I’ve felt like I had a hole in my heart and soul that could never be filled until I found him.

Not only do I have a father, who by the way isn’t alive, which I was prepared for, but I have a brother and a sister and a whole bunch of cousins. The woman I spoke with was so happy to finally hear from me. You have no idea how that feels for me to finally fill this void. Or maybe you do, I don’t know you lol. I can hear someone say “you don’t know me!” lol.

Anyway, the woman I spoke with today said she was going to email me pictures of my father, and she’s going to contact some other family members and give them my number to call me, so I am waiting for that so I can get more information and so I can connect with as many people who want to connect with me. I especially look forward to hearing from my siblings.

I am so happy, nervous and very emotional.

Week 10 Weigh In Day

I am not very happy that my weight is going down as slow as it is, but, I am glad that I am still losing weight. At least I am losing weight, and that’s all that matters right now.

I have been eating less and doing more cardio than I was doing before. I was walking on the treadmill for 2 hours a day, but it was causing more stress on my knees and giving me blisters on my right heel and my left foot below my toes, so I had to knock it down to 1 1/2 hours per day. It has also caused me to have more pain in my spine. I have Scoliosis, so it’s probably not very good to do that to myself. They say no pain, no gain, but I don’t think they mean in my spine or the bottoms of my feet lol.

Weight loss is important to me, but not at the expense of my joints and my feet, so I will start doing other cardio exercises, like 1 hour on the treadmill and then 1 hour on the exercise bicycle. I’ve tried the elliptical and that is just as hard on my legs and my back as walking on the treadmill. I think sitting on the bicycle is probably better on my legs, feet and back.

I will persevere.

Week 9 Weigh In Day

It has been a rough week for me, but I finally lost some weight. I decided to only do cardio and not do any muscle stuff this week because I haven’t seen any results in a couple of weeks. It gets frustrating when you are working your butt off at the gym and your weight either stays the same, or it goes up.

I only go to the gym every other day, and this week I walk on the treadmill for 1 hour with a 5 minute cool down, then take a few minute break, then get back on the treadmill for another 1 hour with a 5 minute cool down, then I use the massage bed because after 2 hours of walking, my back is killing me. But, my feet are also killing me. I have blisters on my right heel and I also have a blister on my left foot below my toes. I had those gel insoles, and they basically shredded from either my weight or from walking so much, so I had to buy new insoles and I bought the memory foam ones, and of course they flatten out and they don’t really do any good at all.

Well, more work, more exercise, more trying to resist temptation because I have a LOT more weight to lose. See you in a week with my next report lol.

Oh Brother!

I need to talk about something. I will try to keep it short, but once I start talking, I can’t really control how much I say lol. If I really need to get something out, I have to get it out, you know?

So I think I have found my paternal father. I mean, well, I think I have found out who he was. The records on Ancestry are wrong because I found a document which tells a different story about who my father’s parents were and who he was married to when he had a son in 1968 before I was even born. So yes, I’m saying I think I have a brother out there in the world.

I found a person who matches the exact age of my brother with the same first and last name with the same spelling and the same birth date. He lives in the United States in North Carolina, and right now they are flooded from Hurricane Florence. He hasn’t responded to me since I sent him an email, and I’m pretty sure he won’t have internet until they can get things working again. I pretty much have to be patient, but it’s real hard being patient when I HAVE A BROTHER out there in the world. I’m excited, and real worried about him even though I didn’t even know he existed until a few days ago.

My whole life I’ve felt like I had a brother out there in the world. I always felt like there was a piece of me that was missing, and for the longest time I thought it was because I never knew my paternal father, and as I aged and couldn’t find him, I knew I might never find him. And now I think that the other part of me that is missing isn’t just my father, it’s also my brother.

Have you ever felt so happy and so sad at the same time? I want to cry for joy that I think I have finally learned who my father was and I want to cry for joy knowing I might have a brother, but I also want to sad cry because I still don’t have the correct answers. The person I think is my father HAS to be my father, but I don’t know for sure until my brother contacts me and let’s me know if the picture I sent him is indeed also his father, then I will know for sure, and I will know if my father is alive or not. It’s all this not knowing that is causing me to be sad. Have you ever felt that? Is it just me?

I’m really frustrated right now. My stomach is in knots.

Did I find my father?

Paternal FatherSo this is my father with his mother. This is a picture my mother gave to me after she told me that my step father wasn’t my real father when I turned 15 years old. Well, she didn’t give me the picture right away because we lived in a trailer and all our things were in storage. When we moved to Sepulveda in an actual apartment building when I was 16 and got all our things out of storage, she gave me this and another picture.

So here’s the story my mother gave me when I was 15. She told me that they were together in 1969 and he was there until a month after I was born in 1970, and then he went to West Germany because he was in the Army and he never returned. She thinks he may have been trapped over there because of the Berlin wall being up at the time. She told me his name was Ronald Shurtleff, but I had all these thoughts going through my head and was barely able to process anything, and the name is not a typical name, or at least I’d never heard it before in my life until she told me, so I had forgotten what it was. When I turned 19 I asked her for the name again so I could start my search to find my paternal father, and her response to me was “No, I’m not going to tell you because I’m afraid you WILL find him, and if you do I will want to leave your father (she was referring to my step father) was be with him (meaning my paternal father).”

I got back in touch with my Aunt Betty in 2001 and I asked her if she knew my father’s name and she told me it was Ronald Shirtliff. She didn’t remember how it was spelled, so I had to go with that. She also told me that it is possible that he didn’t even know that my mother was pregnant because he was married at the time to another woman. If I had the ability to add sounds, I would add soap opera music. She told me that he was not there when I was born, he was not there a month after I was born and that he left before she even told him she was pregnant.

This is what I have found from Ancestry.com. I’ve been searching for military records for 1969-1970 and I just could not find that name for his age. I did find a couple of people, but the birth dates were too far off to be my father. I mean, the guy in the picture does not look like a middle aged man, he would be if he were the man I found in the military records named Ronald Gilbert Shurtleff who was born in 1926. I searched for variations of his last name and even considered that perhaps his middle name was Ronald, and he went by Ronald to my mother, but I just couldn’t find him.

So someone told me that the guy in the picture above is not wearing an Army uniform, he’s wearing a ROTC uniform. He was 18 years old in 1965 and so this picture could possibly be taken when he was still in high school after a school event. I couldn’t find any military records of him. Speculation.

So… I did discover a man named Ronald Leland Shurtleff who was born in 1947, and that would have been the right time frame. Ancestry suggested to me that his parents were Stanley Shurtleff and Delores “Dee” McKenzee. I contacted someone who had added Stanley to her tree, and she told me there is actually a book on Google Books with names of descendants of William Shurtleff, and this book shows that Ronald Leland Shurtleff has a different set of parents. His actual parents are Howard Leland Shurtleff and Virginia Ilene Shuler.

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It shows he was married to a woman named Heidemarie Margarete Capellmann in Germany and they had a son named Jeffrey in 1968. Ancestry doesn’t give me any information about Howard Leland Shurtleff having a son named Ronald Leland Shurtleff. There is a record of Heidenmarie Shurtleff having a P.O. Box in NH in 1993, but that’s all I’m getting from her, and it wasn’t a leaf, I clicked her name in my tree and hit the search button and that was the only thing they had. So if she lived in New Hampshire, perhaps they moved from Germany to the U.S. when his deployment was over and my brother could possibly be in the U.S. now. I found 4 Jeffry Shurtleff’s on Facebook (Jeff and Jeffrey) and I sent them all messages asking if they are the person I’m looking for. One responded within an hour and he wasn’t the one, so it’s a waiting game now.

Look, I don’t know if I have the right people or not. I did the 23andMe test and it did come back with 1016 3rd to distant cousins, no siblings and no parents. It has now grown to 1021 cousins, but no concrete proof of who my father is or was. I decided that since I am doing all this stuff on Ancestry that I would find out if my DNA will work with them as well, so I did Ancestry DNA and they literally just got my DNA sample today, so I can look forward to a long 6-8 week wait according to them, but I’m sure it won’t take that long. So until I get the results back, all I can really do is speculate on everything.

I am hopeful that I will get answers and find someone, whether it be my paternal father or just my paternal brother. If any of these people see this blog post, please know I mean no ill intent, I am not looking for anything, I just want to know who my father is/was and if he or my brother are alive, I just want to know them. If you don’t want a relationship that’s fine, but I just need some closure. But I would like to have a relationship because I feel so lost and alone and I just need someone.

Thank you for reading.