Friday, January 15, 2016
Flashback Friday and Fate
Last night, as I was about to sit down at my computer to write, I noticed a mouse (not the rodent, the computer kind) in the box of old notebooks and such under my desk. I picked up the mouse, wondering how it got there. In amongst the notebooks and such under the mouse was a box labeled “old pictures”. I knew what was in there – old pictures, duh. But I still pulled the box out and took a look. A few old pictures, a few medium old ones and some from just a few years ago, a stack of maybe 15 or 20. In amongst the pictures was a letter to my mother from a cousin of mine written in 2006. The cousin has since died and I hadn’t seen him since I was a kid. At the end of the two page letter was a simple family tree of his kids and grandkids. I just went, “huh, when did my mom give me this and how had I missed it?”
I immediately went on-line and started stalking.
I know my mom’s family pretty much inside and out, sometimes too much information. But my dad’s side of the family has always been vague. His one brother and wife lived in town so we saw them fairly often. Another brother and wife lived an hour away so we visited a few times a year. Dad’s sister? She lived all over the place so sometimes, when she lived near, we would see her a lot, then she would move back to Chicago, or somewhere, and she’d fall off the map. And once that generation passed away none of the cousins stayed connected.
I always felt bad for my aunt Clara. She lost a son in Vietnam and a daughter to cancer. She was married twice, and I’m still working on what happened to her husbands. This is the only picture I have her, with her daughter Frances and husband Tony and her niece Jean and husband Walt. (Jean's daughter was my best friend in grade school, by the way.)
My other cherished picture would be the only one I have of my dad with his brothers Fritz and Frank. Don’t they look like they should be part of the 1960s Rat Pack? (Even though the picture was taken in the early 1980s?)