Okay, so my mind is usually quite a muddle anyway, but after a family reunion it is bouncing around like a Mexican jumping bean. I can’t focus on anything; everything seems slightly out of focus. Stories keep interrupting each other trying to tell themselves, trying to make themselves fit into the jigsaw puzzle called family.
I was honored to be invited to my Dad’s side of First Cousin Reunion. I was the only representative of his line, one of three not First Cousins. My paternal grandpa was one of eight children. They had a hard life as their father was a mean and difficult man. He happened to be handsome, smart, and achieving which all gave way to the stills he operated and also imbibed from himself. These eight children grew up in tough times and then raised their own families during the Depression. I “read” my family like a novel, one I can’t put down for wanting more stories!
Thanks to distant relatives, I got to see my great grandmother who I never knew. She is dressed in white, standing near her own mother. Great Gran Mary Catherine had a rugged life and how I wish I could sit down and visit with her. The only real story my dad ever told me about her was that she was a lovely, sweet woman despite her harsh existence. He remembered that during the Depression when they had nothing and were hungry, she found ways to give them chunks of homemade bread slathered with lard and sprinkled with sugar. It did not sound good to me, a child then with a Twinkie in her hand. But at the reunion Sunday I heard another man speak of that wonderful bread with lard.
I only knew of the Irish blood and never really understood there was strong German in my very veins too. I was shocked with the new information. These seven children stand with their mother Philomena whose own parents came straight from Prussia.
Excuse me while I go search these faces and see if they will talk to me from the past.