I enjoy reading posts about people's families. I like to see the old photos, which can be quite revealing. The body language of couples. The family groups.
My Beloved Brother & I are lucky to know quite a lot about our family tree. Though our parents were parted when we were young, one of our mother's brothers had married one of our father's sisters. Their marriage lasted & so we were always close to them both, & our cousins of course, seemed more like our brother & sister.
Our Paternal Grandfather had died before I was born. I was the eldest grandchild on our father's side of the family. I can vaguely remember our Paternal Grandmother from when I was little, & when she stayed with my Aunt & Uncle after the birth of their daughter, when I was about 7 years old. Granny as I called her, was ill by then, & not a very cheery person. She had known me when I was very young, but since my parents were apart, she did not really know me at all, by that time. I don't really remember her then, & she was in constant pain, poor thing, so probably not inclined to want noisy children about.
I dont have many photos of her, except one as a young girl, & some shadowy little 'snaps', probably taken with a Box Brownie camera.
I do have these following photos of our Paternal Grandfather, who was known for his hunting & fishing pursuits. To the cost of his farm, according to our mother, & also his children! He was not known to like work a great deal, & our mother said he was too 'hearty & fellow well met' for her taste, & she never liked him. We are not sure, but we believe he died of cancer of the stomach, so perhaps his rather short life was spent in some pain.
He had quarrelled with his father, & left home at a very early age, never to return. He did write to his mother all his life apparently, & I wonder at her sadness at his leaving. How I wish I knew more about that history. We still have an Uncle & an Aunt alive, brother & sister of our father. We ask questions to try to learn as much as we can. I want to try to write it all down, so that one day should my children be interested they can refer to it all.
This photo is of our Grandfather bearing a deer head. It fills me with horror, but deer stalking in the season was one of the things our Grandfather, Father & Uncles did. They would eat the venison, & keep the antlers as souvenirs. They also went pig hunting, & would shoot wild pigs. Our mother's brothers went hunting too, & my mother & her youngest brother raised pet pigs from orphaned piglets that were brought home.
I always think our grandfather looked hearty enough in this photo! I have no idea how old he was then.
Here he is, looking older, with a huge trout he caught in the wild Waioeka River, which ran through the Waioeka Gorge.
Blood is thicker than water they say. I am sure this is true.
We really liked all our new found siblings.
It seemed terribly sad that we grew up not knowing them. For that matter, I don't really 'know' them today. I have seen one brother a couple of times since our father's funeral. I hear news of them from our mutual Aunt & Uncle.
My full brother is lucky enough to get to see one brother now & then, & has seen the other brother & sisters since.
The jigsaw pieces that are families.
I am very grateful to Josie, of Cie la Vie, who taught me how to get these posts to keep the paragraphs. I have been meaning to thank you Josie!
Simon & Garfunkel, The Dangling Conversation.