Both men realized that they had run
out of time. Their supplies were almost gone and their pick up point was a
day’s hike away. Matt had taken note of
the coordinates for that point on the island and they determined that the next
time they came they would drop down closer to that point and have more time to
Returning to the ship, Matt set
about getting a map charted and placed the island itself on the bigger maps as
a new uncharted island that had just been discovered.
Bruce’s task was more
difficult. He had to convince his sister
that going back to the island was imperative to finding out t more about their
father, when in fact he had no idea if that would even work.
Monica was sympathetic, yet wary of
the plan. Although here original intent
was to locate her father, the expedition had been funded to do something
completely different. She would have to justify the cost of the helicopter and
the time involved to send the men back.
After two weeks of deliberations,
Monica gave the okay. Matt and Bruce were all set to leave the ship for the
island the next morning. But a sudden storm approached and they cold not fly. September was the beginning of hurricane
season and the reality was that they might not have safe passage for another
six months. Bruce did not want to take
the chance to be stranded again and he agreed to wait until March. By then it
would have been more than a year since he actually talked to his mom.
While waiting out the hurricane
season the team set about the task they had been commissioned to do. They
slowly made their way further down the Amazon river, encountering all the
jungle had to offer. Bruce saw piranhas destroy a full length boa constrictor.
He saw a boa constrictor squeeze the life out of a monkey. He saw a black
caiman destroy an entire school of piranhas, he saw a giant otter and was
scared to death when he saw the huge anaconda swimming next to the ship.
Nothing in Bruce’s past had
prepared him for his present state. He no longer had a plan for his future. He
was completely unsure about his here and now. He spent a lot of time, as it was
available, speaking with Monica and Steve. He wanted to know more about the man
they all called dad. Strikingly familiar were the stories of his being gone for
long lengths of time. It became so normal that none of the kids thought life
should be any other way. Also consistent
with all the stories was their mother’s undying love for their father and her
defense of him at any cost.
Amanda Patterson did not seem to be
the same personality type as Nicole Patterson. Where Amanda was independent,
Nicole was dependent. Where Amanda was self-sufficient, Nicole relied on others
for everything. How could a man love such diverse women at the same time? The only place to find that answer was to
learn more about the man they all called Dad.
Amanda found out that Sam Patterson
had been orphaned by the age of ten and never really knew his father. Nicole
only knew that Nick Patterson had no family. Monica, Steve and Bruce could not
believe there was not more information about their father available somewhere.
The World Wide Web had become very popular and with the satellite on the ship
they should be able to access the internet.
All three agreed that his birthday
was somewhere in 1947. Amanda heard that he was born to an unwed mother. In
1947 that was a crime and there were only specific places where he could have
been born, if he had born somewhere other than a dirty alley. That was a dead
Was there any way they could come
up with his social security number and perhaps they could track him that
way? Monica was not sure if social
security numbers were required for high school back then, but she figured that
was good place to start. She contacted the school that her mother and father
attended together and introduced herself as his daughter and wondered if they
could provide any background information on him. It took almost three week for
a response to come back and all the school could provide was his birth date was
June 1, 1947. His mother’s name was Lillian Patterson and his father was
unknown. They provided an address that was on his record.
The three grown children were
elated. That gave them somewhere to start looking. They looked up Lillian Patterson;
they looked up Sam Patterson DOB. June 1, 1947, and they looked up Patterson in
Nebraska in and around 1947. The only information they received was from a
hospital in Azusa, Nebraska. It stated that an unknown woman had come into the
emergency room and given birth to a baby boy. When it was time for them to be
released, the woman was gone and the boy was turned over to the state. Could this
be their dad?
I am sitting here in front of a blank screen and now realize that the idea of setting myself up to post a chapter a week and a journal entry a week is just setting myself up for failure.
I have been writing the rest of Bruce's story in my head and I now know where it is going and how it is ending, but when I sit down to type it the words just aren't coming. I am sure the book will be completed by the end of the year and I will post as it is being written.
My journal was a place for me to explain - for later reading - what I am doing, feeling, etc....but it turns out that I am not so willing to share that with whomever decides to open this blog.
I am seriously thinking about just creating a journal blog that is locked from outsiders. That way I know my word will be kept safe.