Researching My Family History
I’m on the trail again. Back to researching my family history. The search for further details about my mother’s life can soon continue.
I’m very excited to be heading south tomorrow. With my mother in a retirement home, its more difficult to spend quality time with her. Staying with her in her own home, I used to spend hours rehashing her stories. I wanted to ensure I had things recorded correctly. We had the time to jump from decade to decade, or family to family. But now, during much shorter visits to her, I need to be more specific about recording our family history.
Mum’s not as sharp as she has always been. I need to especially know more of the ten years prior to Dad’s death and our subsequent shift to Colac Bay. These are the lean years of knowledge, I’ve realised when talking with my brother.
All through my childhood, I remember Mum’s humorous stories. She willingly shared details of our ancestors and where they’d come from. But it was her childhood stories that often had us rolling around with laughter. She made them sound so funny.
It was due to me her stories rarely involved my father. It was only about ten years ago during one of our family history ‘sessions’ that she mentioned why she almost never talked much about Dad. I had never asked, and she had assumed I wasn’t interested. Being the gentle, self effacing type of lady that she is, she would never have shared memories she thought weren’t welcome.
I was devastated. To think of all the years I’d wasted. All the questions I’d been dying to ask.
As a child I developed a “I’m not going to upset Mum” practice. I clearly remember living by this self imposed rule. I’d decided asking about my father would upset her so I rarely did. But as a result of me being a little more honest and open, I learned a lot about my father in one single evening. I learned small things to suggest their marriage was a happy one. And finally I learned of the circumstances surrounding his death.
But this is not enough. Not now I’m wanting to make a record of Mum’s life. My scant knowledge of those ten years with Dad need expanding. Therefore Mum had better look out. Because I’ll be asking her to get her thinking cap on and share some more of her hard working, fun loving life so I can then share it with everyone else who loves her.