Monday, June 13, 2005

Fathers, Sons and Family

So what’s up with the pictures? Well, one of the things I got back in the big return the other day was a bag. This bag was very important to me because it contained several hundred family photos from my mother’s side of the family. My mother had given them to me because I was going to scan them so that they could be shared, and also so that they would not be lost if the originals were destroyed somehow. When I found I had gotten this bag back I was very happy, and looking through it stirred a lot of memories. There are a lot of stories on both sides of my family, and those are just the ones I know of. I’ve always enjoyed learning about my family.

Some of the things I know:

One of my ancestors signed the Constitution

There’s a city named after another ancestor

My grandfather won several purple hearts and (if I recall) a bronze star in WW-II

My other grandfather had stories of living through the depression I used to love hearing

My grandmother left my grandfather (the one of WW-II fame) for another man – something far more scandalous then than it is today

My Uncle (not the one whose picture I posted before) is an idiot (and that’s being kind and generous)

I come from a long line of capable men and women.

There’s so much more I could keep writing all night. Part of the reason I’m suddenly so interested in all of this is that I want my son to learn all about this. I want him to know what kind of people he’s descended from and to be proud of that. I want him to have a firm sense of belonging to a line of good people. I guess it’s an identity thing.

I’m in a difficult position right now, but part of the reason I’m getting through it is the sense I have of who I am. I look back at the things my family has done in the past and can say to myself “we’re survivors, and so much more”. I like to think that my grandparents are looking down on me and hopefully feeling proud of the way I’m conducting myself.

My son – I miss him every day. I love that we’re developing a closer relationship now. He wants to spend more time with me and is not as happy to go back to his mommy as fast. I look at that as he wants to spend more time with me than as a slight on the STBX. He still loves her, he’s just beginning to feel the same thing for me.

When my parents divorced I was ten years old. It wasn’t hard at first, as I remember. I remember missing him, though. I remember walking a couple of miles down to see him one day. He was surprised, but happy. I just wanted to see him. We moved to Florida not too long after that and my life got a lot harder. We didn’t live in a great place and my father wasn’t there to be the example I needed. I can only imagine how hard it must have been on him. I plan on telling him this on Father’s Day this Sunday. I want my son to spend a lot more time with him because I wish I’d gotten to spend more time with my grandfathers before they passed away.

I have to start collecting the stories of my family before they’re gone. There’s so much that’s been lost already – it’s so sad. I have to look at it as my responsibility because if I want to teach my son where he came from I have to find out for myself.