Family secrets
Nov 4, 2021
Season 5 | Episode 4

Family secrets

HTML EMBED:
COPY
Matthew Chow spent his adult life trying to build a close relationship with his estranged father. In his father's will, he found a decades-old family secret.

Matthew Chow spent his adult life trying to build a close relationship with his estranged father.

They had their moments, but Matthew’s dad, Silas, was always this elusive figure in his life. It’d been that way since Matthew’s parents divorced when he was 5, and he grew up never quite sure what family meant to his father. The only communication Matthew could count on was a birthday card from Silas each year. But the year he turned 40, the card never came.

After a couple weeks and many unanswered phone calls, Matthew got concerned and called the property manager at Silas’ apartment where he lived alone.

“They said, ‘We found him at his desk.’ My dad had passed away. I later learned that he had some heart issues, and so he must’ve had a heart attack,” Matthew said. “I really felt bad that there was no one there by his side and that he died alone.”

Matthew, his brother Mark and their families drove down to Silas’ apartment in Maryland to go through his things and find the will. Silas’ estate was worth about $500,000, and the documents they found mentioned Silas’ devotion to his Christian faith. That wasn’t surprising, but the list of inheritors was.

“So it was Silas’ church, Mark, me and Joseph,” Matthew said. “Um, but I didn’t know who this Joseph person was. I said, ‘Who is this Joseph?”

We’re turning this week’s episode over to our intern, Serena Chow. She’s been working for months on this story, trying to understand the family secret that came out in her grandpa’s will when she was just 4 years old. She’ll talk with her dad about finding Joseph and how her grandpa’s final act redefined her entire family.

To tell us what you think about this episode, this season or anything else, drop us a line at 347-RING-TIU (347-746-4848), email us at uncomfortable@marketplace.org or fill out the form below.

If you liked this episode, share it with a friend. And to get even more Uncomfortable, subscribe to our newsletter. Each Friday you’ll get a note from Reema, Uncomfortable videos and some recs from the Uncomfortable team. You’ll also be the first to hear about our new season. It’s all exclusively for our email list, so don’t wait! If you missed it, here’s the latest issue.









“This Is Uncomfortable” is Reema Khrais, Donna Tam, Megan Detrie, Peter Balonon-Rosen, Camila Kerwin, Phoebe Unterman, Marque Greene and Serena Chow.

The future of this podcast starts with you.

We know that as a fan of “This Is Uncomfortable,” you’re no stranger to money and how life messes with it — and 2021 isn’t any different.

As part of a nonprofit news organization, we count on listeners like you to make sure that these and other important conversations are heard.

Support “This Is Uncomfortable” with a donation in any amount and become a Marketplace Investor today.

The team

Megan Detrie Senior Producer
Hayley Hershman Producer

Thanks to our sponsors