When I think about this, my heart really breaks. Although, it doesn’t affect me as much because never having a grandfather, I don’t know what a relationship with one is like. But, for my dad, to not have a father, I can imagine the hurt he must have had growing up.
My dad joined the military to find him. All he knew was his dad was in the military. And all he had was this torn picture of a man he didn’t know. His step-father tore this picture into 4 pieces. Ripped it up out of rage. For what reason, I’m not sure. But, from that point forward, my dad was not to have that man raise him. My dad was raised by his grandparents. Raised as a sibling to his Uncles and Aunts. Cousins may be mad at me for what I have to say, but that’s what it is.
I smile when I look at this picture because to be honest, my dad looks a lot like this man…in his younger years. I see the features that make up my dad’s face…my face.
I often wonder about my possible Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and what not from this side of the family. My last name would have been something other than Spence. My life may have been different with knowing who my grandfather was. I imagine cousins that I could have known and/or grown up with. I wonder if I’ve dated any of those cousins…eewww.
The fact that the story behind this man has varied over the years and the fact that I have such little information is poignant. I wish I had more to go on. I wish I had more information. Hell, I wish I knew where he was from! But, I don’t even know that. There is a paper trail for him. There is documentation. He was obviously in the Navy. He had a career. People knew him somewhere. I just want to find him. Maybe one day someone will come across the original post. Recognize some of the details. Compare notes and contact me.
I wish people would just write on the back of pictures. Don’t they know that people will come looking and wonder who they are.
In my Wordless Wednesday picture, you can barely see the faces. It’s obviously a picture of some people at a military camp. There are 4 people sitting in this care and I can’t make them out for anything!!!
So, if you have pictures at home, take time out and write who’s who on the back of them!!! Please.
I always wondered about how someone is your whatever cousin so-many-times removed. Without the chart at the bottom of my blog, I wouldn’t be able to figure out family relationships past 1st cousin.
I always thought that my great uncles children would be my second cousin and my great great uncles children would be my 3rd cousin..so on and so forth. But, since researching my family tree, I’m starting to understand the connections better.
Thru research, I’ve located 20+ cousins that I have never seen or heard about before. But, when I ask my grandmother about them, she says “oh yeah, I know such-n-such”. Which makes me always wonder, why don’t we hear about them or why aren’t they included on the mailing list. So that’s been part of my mission. To find the relatives and descendents of my great grandparents and keep up the database. Regardless if they’re 4th cousin 4 times removed.
I have always been proud of the fact that my mother is Ethiopian. I remember when I was younger, telling people that because I thought it was the coolest thing! But, growing up wasn’t much different than any other household. We didn’t speak any foreign languages. She didn’t teach us her language of Tigrinya because she was focused on learning English. In addition, Jacksonville doesn’t really have a strong Ethiopian presence to help people reinforce their culture on their children. I’m sure if we lived in Washington D.C. we would be fluent in Tigrinya.
As I’m going thru this journey, I realize there are a lot of things that I need to focus on. I want to take the time out to learn Tigrinya (I have Tigrinya the EZ-Way CD). I’m also going natural. I’ve had a relaxer for as long as I can remember and I want to see what my hair looks like without the chemicals. For so long, you think that you NEED to have a relaxer. But, I’m tired of that NEED and ready for this WANT…
*pictures will be updated later…having computer issues.*