This blog has been sitting in the “draft” folder since the end of last year.
To share or not to share?
With permission, I’ve chosen today to share this post as Jack and our oldest 2 sons embark on an adventure to Europe, departing this coming week, a last minute yet “waited a whole lifetime for” kind of trip. Our oldest, looking at universities and language immersion and our middle son on a homeschooling field trip out of this world!
I’ll be holding down the fort here with our other children. In the meantime, gathering information from them, planning and preparing for when we host yet another trip and this time to Spain & Portugal 2017. I’ll be witnessing this reunion long distance and look forward to sharing it with you all as well. Feeling emotional about not being there but so excited for their journey!
For all of you who have been inspired, mentored and motivated by Jack Walston over the years, I hope you enjoy reading more about what “makes him tick” and possibly be moved towards more of what makes you tick!
I am honored to be a guest blogger on this last post of 2015 and even more so to share with you all what has been a very long and personal journey for my husband John “Jack” Walston.
Most of you know him as Jack or “IW” aka Instructor Walston, Veteran Navy SEAL & owner of SEAL PT in Houston & New York and that he is, yet so much more of which you are about to find out…
Having grown up myself in a family proud of my Italian and Lebanese roots I become interested in the background of my high school sweetheart many years ago. I thought and still do that he was gorgeous and with that golden hair and dark eyes I just had to know more! It was told to me that he was born in Madrid, Spain and left at an early age, of course this intrigued me! Being who I am, I tried to ask questions and gather information, yet the timing wasn’t right, so I stopped for many, many years. It wasn’t until the oldest of our own 5 children was approaching adolescence that I felt the need to dig deeper into Jack’s family history, wanting to provide our children with the same appreciation for their historical roots as I felt for mine.
Many things happen in one’s life to lead them to where they are and as the famous Navy SEAL saying goes, “expect the unexpected” began way before Jack’s time in the SEAL teams. This is how he’s lived his life and made such a success of it. He was fine never digging up and looking back into his past, but not me, I knew somewhere deep in him he wanted to know more and I went on a mission to find out who he really was. That’s the job of a good wife, right ha! Where do some of his qualities come from? Strange sense of humor, noisy, possessive, passionate, demonstrative, etc? His ways were different and he felt different at times, remembering when he was in Kindergarten upon coming to the US, he was made fun of for speaking Spanish and vowed to only speak English from that day forward.
With Jack’s permission back in 2008 and with the help of his mother here in the U.S. we set out to find out what part of his past could be reclaimed. His mother a young artist in Spain, falling in love with a Spaniard and having a child so far away from home. So many factors that as a mother I can understand and respect the reasons for returning. Things moved slowly, yet with the incredible help of the Spanish Consulate’s office in Houston Texas & Spain and the power of Facebook we were able to connect the dots….
- I initially hired a private detective in Spain, nothing came up so I began combing Facebook for his family name. I was able to locate someone by the name of Raquel, my husbands Aunt and very close to his age. She looks very much like our daughter Rachel and was overjoyed to find out what happened to that blond hair boy who left Spain so many years ago. Many other family members have since been discovered and kept in contact including his God Parents and many cousins.
- With the help of Senator John McCain’s office we were able to get a motion to open his sealed adoption record (he was adopted and assumed the name of his Air Force Veteran Step Father ) and sent to the Consular’s office in Houston which allowed them to reconcile that John Dale Walston was actually Jose Luis Perez Dillman.
- It was with a heavy heart that we learned that his birth father Jose Luis had passed only 9 years earlier, growing up he had always believed his Father had passed when he was younger.
- John “Jack” was able to reclaim his Spanish Citizenship, birth certificate and passport as have all 5 of our children this past year.
- A funny discovery is that according to the Consular’s office we are not married in Spain, as I married John not Jose, hmm seems like I have some planning to do!
What does this all mean and Why Share now?
It means that perhaps you or someone you know has always felt a bit misplaced, always wondered what or who you missed out on being with. Perhaps your native tongue is not that which speak of now. As well as always feeling as though your home, that of your birth is in a far away land that you long to return to if not just for a moment of reconnecting & reconciliation. And that you, like me, might not BE that person but you might be their helpmate, friend, child that bring about this reconnection for them. Who knows what the future will hold, it might open up a whole new world of travel and adventure!
So you see, all of the adventures of John (as I call him) “Jack” as so many of you know him (he was given this nickname in the SEAL teams) and of “Jose” of who he was born, have all been leading up to the ultimate adventure for him, which is to return to the soil of his birthplace and family of his birth Father.
With that we invite you to “travel” along with him on what will be the most important adventure of his life.
Thank you for allowing me this moment and to my husband for putting aside his pride and allowing me the honor of presenting this to you. May it motivate you to dig deep! Stay tuned for more…