April 6, 2011


For the last 2 weeks I've been doing some searching for family roots. I am pretty clear about the Vermillion side of my family history, but I want to know more about where I come from on my Father's side and maybe even my maternal Grandfather's side, though i'm not sure that's really possible. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but it's not good either in a way. It's pretty confusing to say the least.
See, our family is a big mixed up bag. My Granny, well, she was beautiful and smart and I think maybe she was one of those people who saw the grass as greener on the other side and went for it. She had 7 children, some of which have different fathers. For her time I think she was liberated. Some might say she was less than moral I guess, but not to her face. She went for what she wanted and that was that. I have nothing but respect for her and miss her greatly.
The man I knew as Pawpaw, wasn't my blood related grandfather but he is my Grandfather in my heart. I don't care what I could possibly learn about who my REAL grandfather is, no one could take the place of my Pawpaw. He was truly one of a kind. It's sad because the world needs more like him. Manly men who take care of business but know how to be kind and gentle and funny.
On that side of the family I always thought I knew who my blood related Grandpa was but now I am not so sure. I remember loving that man as a child and I do have fond memories of him but very few since we didn't see him after we moved to Texas. I always wondered why he didn't care more about us, but i've come to terms with a lot of things over the past year and have realized that probably wasn't the case. Regardless, there's a rumor that he wasn't and couldn't have been my Grandfather. I kind of wish Granny could just pop down for a few and explain this one to me. It sure would make things a lot easier. I know it's impossible, but they did it on Charmed all the time. I can dream.
On the other side of the family tree, my Father's side, I also have wonderful Grandparents who are not blood related but, I wouldn't trade for the world. My Grandma is the kindest, most loving woman I have ever known and my Grandfather was a true Grampaw. I had no doubt that he and Gramma loved me as a child. Between the 4 of them I had great Grandparents. All the bases were covered. I had sweet and sour, funny and serious, caring and tough.
As wonderful as they are though and regardless of who they helped shape me to be........who am I?
I started searching for my Father's side of the family and have gotten absolutely nowhere! I'm going to have to call him today to pick his brain about it. Something I hate to do really because as much as *I* don't see these faceless people who are my ancestors, I don't think he WANTS to remember them.
Apparently the story goes something like this:
My real grandfather died very early in some type of accident. My real grandmother decided that she couldn't or didn't want to care for her kids so she gave my Dad and his brothers to my Gramma and Grampaw, who were her neighbors and they raised them as their own. I know for sure that my real Grandfather's Mother managed to stay in their life somehow because we used to go see her when I was very young but I don't remember her name. All I remember about her is that she kept circus peanuts around for us. I hate the candy lol, but the smell of it always reminds me of her and i remember her being good to us.
Unfortunately, in my search I have also discovered things I don't think I wanted to know and it has really messed me up the past few days. I had always believed that my little brother, DJ, died of SIDS. As a young Mother I was literally terrified that my baby could just simply die for no apparent reason and for about the first year of his life I was terrified to sleep. Same with the other kids too. According to press releases I found, my baby brother died from Pneumonia, not SIDS. I was also under the impression that part of the reason he passed away was because our home had no heat so my baby brother was wrapped too warmly and that contributed to his death. As it turns out, he died in June, In Corpus Christi, Tx. I'm not a Meteorologist or anything, but i'm pretty sure that between 1971 and 2011, the average temps haven't changed THAT much and that it probably wasn't too cold in Corpus in June during ANY year. I'm not going to get into how or why i believed what I did...........there's literally just no point exploring that part of the story. What matters now is that I do know the truth and all I really wish is that my little brother had lived. I'm positive he'd have been as awesome as I am lol. As it is, maybe he watches down from Heaven and wishes he could pop me upside the head sometimes like brothers do.
Anyway, the whole point is that I want to know where I come from. I want my kids to know not just about the people who shaped me and loved me but the people who helped make me and them exist as well. I'm just afraid now of what else I'll find. I guess in the end, as long as it's the truth, nothing else matters and I'll deal with it. Wish me luck though. I have a feeling I'm going to need it.


stacybuckeye said...

I started working on my family tree about a decade ago and now that I have a son I'll have to do some work on my husband's family.
What a terrible story about your little brother. My baby just turned 6 months and I did breathe a little sigh of relief because SIDS numbers go way down after 6 months. But I'm still vigilant, of course, and sleep less that I should.

Small Town Mommy said...

Wow, that is quite a surprise. I know very little about my family tree. Both of my parents passed away so I really don't even have anywhere to turn for information.