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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum

Re: "Let sleeping dogs lie."
In Response To: Re: "Let sleeping dogs lie." ()

I know its been a while that this post has been out but I really want to respond.

Just this past weekend, my older sister and I decided to take our mother to her hometown to visit a sister who has been and still is quite ill. Previously another sister had been seriously ill with the same disease and Mama wouldn't be uprooted for anything to go visit. Then when the aunt died, she has grieved endlessly. So when this sister got ill, all she has been talking about is not letting the same thing happen that happened with the first. Now there are ten of them, my mother being the second oldest and the sister that died was the oldest.

These siblings have never been close or so it would appear from the outside. They don't routinely visit each other, they barely talk on the phone and when they speak of each other it's usually in a nasty way.

But I got to witness something that blew me away. When their mother, my grandmother, died in 1996 my brother and I were the only ones of my mother's 9 children to go to the funeral. At first, these sisters and brothers acted very cautious around each other and were standoffish. Then my mother, who had practically raised her younger sibling stood in the middle of the floor opened her arms and said, "Come here". They all ran to her and broke down crying. From that moment on, they were clinging to her as if for dear life. This shocked me because all our lives, we had been told by our own mother that her brothers and sisters hated her and that she had been mistreated by all of them as a child. Now here they all are together for the first time since I was 9 years old and they are talking to her about how much they missed her and wished she hadn't distanced herself from them, etc. etc!

During my course of research I've discovered some very startling facts that when confronted with, my aunts and uncles will say, "So you found out..." My mother absolutely refuses to talk about her family saying that her parents never told her things about their lives. But her sisters and brothers will talk to me and tell me things until I slip and "accidentially " ask a question that "steps on their toes" and then they will shut down like a light switch.
One of the most important things I've found out during my research is this and I have mentioned this before on another board:

My grandfather was the youngest of nine boys. His older brothers had as many as 22 and 18 children (they were farmers). I never even knew he had brothers until one of them died and my mother, sister and I went to the funeral. He was the one with the most children. Come to find out, half the kids we went to school with were his grandchildren, the other half (smile) were my grandfather's (ha).
When asked why she never told us about this uncle or the other uncles for that matter, she replied "Papa didn't want us to know our relatives".

But I remember grandpa bragging to me about his 10 children, 48 grandsand 70 something greatgrands. He then said, " Always ask questions about anybody you meet. There are lots of Thomases around.My brothers and I didn't want our children to know each other so as not to be accused of inbreeding and having deformed children." After discussing this with my cousins that are my age, we have realized that they meant "know" in the bibical sense in what we just plainly today call sex. But for the past 50 years or so, their children have thought they meant this literally. So they know 'about" each other but don't really "know" each other.

My generation of cousins are trying to correct this misunderstanding and hope to do it at our next reunion. Pray that it will happen because my mother and her cousins somehow still feel they will be disobeying their parents to even come to the reunion!

Messages In This Thread

"Let sleeping dogs lie."
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Arne's post on Norway
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Emmanuel Zespedes
Patrick Tonyn Governor East Florida
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Gasper Trotti
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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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