After over twenty years of separation I reunited with my paternal family. It was so cool to see how many things about me seemed to be genetically linked. My father's family are ketchup junkies just like me, my extreme love of animals, and even my happy disposition. It's been a crazy and emotional ride. I had been tracing my maternal genealogy for years and couldn't wait to tackle my father's side.
I think the most amazing thing has been seeing how many facial features and mannerisms really are passed down from one family member to the next. I really can't imagine we are so much different than our grandparents 200 years ago, other than our tech advancements. It seems through the years love of art and music seem to be forefront of my family. My great grandparents fed people at their farm through the great depression. This being the same grandfather who was a drummer at burlesque houses. Hey, someone had to do it!
My grandmother was first generation in America from Canada. Her family was large and loving. They always had animals around and enjoyed life by the water. She had four siblings and loving parents. Then one day something changed. When My grandmother was still a young girl her mother died. Her father was unable to care for his large family and for whatever reason (we have yet to get the records) they all ended up in an orphanage. They all remained there for a few years until their father remarried and came back for them. I can't imagine the mixed emotions the kids must have had. The pictures seem to say they still loved their father and had forgiven anything that may have happened.
My grandparents met while they were both very young still. They lived their early adulthood having fun and loving each other. They were together a decade before they had my father. The love they had for all their kids could be felt and seen by all who met them. Their house was always full of animals from monkeys to turtles one would never know what they'd run into. It's crazy because my husband always says I'd have a zoo if I could. Side note (my great grandfather, the drummer, also toured with a circus. I like to think of him petting lions and elephants.).
My grandmother would make scenes inside of ostrich eggs. I can only imagine the precision that would have required. She was strong and honest, just like me! She was also a talker and goofy, just like me. I am so thankful to this woman I didn't know for helping to form me into the person I am today. I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know her even though she is gone. I can't wait until the day we are reunited. Until then I will cherish the pictures and the memories of the woman who helped create me!