Monday, October 10, 2005

An Echo of History: My Rootless Existence

Last night my daughter came by and wanted to look up ancestral history on the computer. It is sad really. The only records we can find on most people are death records. They do contain social security numbers, but so many relatives have died without leaving anything more than vague memories or deep scars. Those of us who survive either do not know each other, or do not get along.

I guess it might have a little to do with the total lack of education members of my family received. Getting past the 9th grade is somewhat new to us. Graduating from high school was quite an achievement for some of my generation. Getting through college is a hope we have for our children.

A long history of child abuse has definitely taken its toll. I know that my maternal grandfather was a child molester, I was one of his victims. I know that at least one, if not both, of his sons are child molesters. Emotional, physical and psychological abuse run rampant. I don't really know how I managed to break the chain, but not all of my siblings and cousins did.

We do know tales and have some idea as to where to look. I hope she has lots and lots of time to get it done. She'll need it.

It should be fun to see if we can trace our lineage through the hillbillies, Chippewa, and poor Irish folk that make up my maternal line. My paternal side has more hope, at least on my grandmothers side. Some work has been done on my grandpa's side, but not much. He would not discuss his lineage much. He was always a little closed off, but I did get the impression that he was keeping a secret about something. It is a mystery, and who doesn't love a mystery?

Hopefully she loves a mystery, because her father's lineage isn't any better! At least her paternal grandmother is working a little on that side, but now she insists that she doesn't know who her son's father is. (2 out of her 3 children were fathered by unknowns - sad) A tough dead end there.

I shall continue on my path forward. I don't really need to know where everyone else has been to find the path I must take in my life. My buried roots are nothing more than a curiosity. I don't need to see them to know they exist. I don't need to know about my familial history to open the door to my future.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cheri
    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I had a peek at yours and just wanted to say that I was very touched by your honesty, intelligence and sensitivity. Your son sounds like a wonderful kid, and I am glad that education has been a way for you to move forward. I too, work in education, mainly in the office, but assisting adults to either learn English (as a second language) or literacy. A surprising number of people have missed out on a basic education, even these days, for many reasons: learning/behavioural disabilities, moving about, family/economic problems etc. Remember, our past affects us, but it's not necessarily who we are. Good luck with your journey.