Growing up we’ve never known a great deal about either side of the family.
On my mother’s side of the family her paternal grandfather had been given away by his father at around one year old, not an adoption, but to a family known to his own, I believe that was the case. They changed his birth name and moved away from Port Pirie to Melbourne before finally settling in the western suburbs of Sydney.
At some point he discovered he’d been given up by his birth family, he would insist that his own family not seek out the birth family until he had passed away, which was respected. It would take quite some years for the family to discover anything about his birth family given little was known, but eventually my Aunt Lynne and her cousin would manage locate his sister and the pieces would come together.
Through Aunt Lynne’s tenacity we would discover Great-Grandpa’s birth name, where his parents had come from, Switzerland and the Croatian island of Lopud. More recently they discovered his father was an Italian-speaking Croatian, this via census records on Ancestry’s website.
My father has also spent some time tracing our own side of the family. We’re rather a small bunch, and as my grandparents had died by the time I was very young I never got to know much and Dad never spoke much or never knew much to be able to speak of it. I guess this is one of the reasons I have been somewhat fascinated by AncestryDNA.
Almost two years ago now I watched an AncestryDNA video and my interest was peaked about how you could learn about where your family came from. A friend at work completed this earlier this year originating from Malaysia, it was interesting to see she had quite a high European contribution to her DNA make-up.
I recently purchased my own AncestryDNA kit as it was at a decent discount. The kit arrived in the mail earlier this week and first involves activating the kit via the Ancestry website; then filling the test tube with saliva, then cap the tube which includes a stabilising solution which gets sharked for 5 seconds; then place in the postal kit and send. I sent on Thursday, so. now is a 6-8 week wait for results of my DNA to see where we come from, I look forward to seeing what comes back.
Having lost my brother to suicide, just over a month ago now, it has been a difficult month. I had been somewhat estranged from him for a few years, not by choice, thus had no idea he was even depressed, let alone suicidally so.
At the family-only wake recently I was to hear for the past three years he’d been suicidal and researching methods for taking his life. He had made several failed attempts, none of which I had heard of, it’s hard not to resent the total exclusion as it prevented my making any attempts to help him. I don’t know of course had I have known and helped whether he might still have been here, but not being allowed to try makes me so angry.
Another wake is to occur this week, for friends of the brother lost and the one he lived with; we have been invited with them conveniently informed we were estranged in the invite, so it feels daggered. My other brother had approached me to make a video for the day, which I’d agreed to do, however needed help as I didn’t know events; also I may have compatibility issues with windows media files given I’m a Mac user. I was not given the files in the end, they went to my sister. Tonight my father decided to try guilting me from the other side of the country for not making the video, I am so pissed off I’ve deleted Facebook Messenger so I don’t have to hear from him any longer.
My world for a large lotto win that I could dump my life here and move overseas for good. Over it!
I just finished binge watching another Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. The series revolves around the suicide of a high school student who, prior to her committing suicide, records on cassette tape 13 sides explaining the reasons, each assigned to a specific individual.
Season one revolved around Clay listening to these tapes and wondering how he was connected, and was he in any way responsible for Hannah’s suicide; could he have done more to have saved her. As Clay listens to each reason (side) he gets progressively more angry at those who are featured.
I think perhaps that which makes 13 Reasons Why great viewing is it manages to show several sides to teenage suicide. We see the side of those closest to the teenager, those who knew them, and of course the parents trying desperately to understand why.