Grandparents day is this weekend on September 10th in the USA and Canada.
Then there was one more step to it - tell us one story from them they told you.
This is where it will get dicey for me to fulfill this challenge. Why?
- I can never remember meeting my paternal and maternal grandfathers at all. Long story, but they were not good men, or so I've been told, so they kept us away from them.
- My paternal grandmother, the one I was closest and the only one to fully know, would only say a sentence here and there about her growing up years to me. However, there are no stories. Only sentences.
- My maternal grandmother, and the one I carry her middle name, I only seen a handful of times in my life. Those times she was drugged up by the nursing home staff due to her mental state.
So, as you can see, I had a very happy home life growing up and this will be a challenge for me to fulfill.
My family tree leading back to my grandparents are:
|My Family Tree made by myself for Grandparents Day on Sept 10th|
These are on my mother's side. As you can see, from the tree above, these are Janet and Louis we're talking about.
One of the best memories I have is when my mother signed her out of the nursing home and brought her to our house for Thanksgiving one year. I was about 8, 9 or 10 years old. The word got out and my brother and all of sisters and their families came along and we joined every table we had and brought as many chairs as we could and sat around the entire table. Talk about a full room. I was able to sit next to my grandmother as the meal progressed.
The sad part is my grandmother sat there looking around at everyone, but didn't eat, drink or say anything. I kept asking if she wanted a drink, some food but she just looked at me. She was on that much medication from the nursing home she probably didn't even know her own name. However, she was there and we all made it known how much we loved her.
As you can see, on my mother's side, there wasn't much on an influence at all by these people unless you look at how the affected my mother, which was substantial from what I can now see and understand.
These are on my father's side. As you can see, from the tree above, these are Mathew/Matthew and Jean we're talking about.
|Mathew Schmitz taken from his Naturalization paperwork|
|One of the pictures of me and my grandmother.|
Growing up I would hear kids in school talk about their grandparents and stories about their families growing up. We never talked about the past in my family - at all. However, when I was staying with my grandmother, Jean, she would sometimes say things in sentences.
- I loved playing in the Bug and another River with my cousins growing up. We had such great times!
- That was my father's brother. He's gone now. They are all gone now. Assassinated and murdered.
- *((** Germans! *(&(*& Russians. They can all go to hell!
|Aug 16 1915 The Register Page 5|
|Aug 16 1915 |
Marybourgh Chronicle Wide Bay &
Burnett Advertiser Page 4
|March 15 1920 The Sun Sydney, Page 8|
Putting lives back together
|Jimmy's wings he earned just before his death|
You take what information you are given and work with it until you can put their lives back together as much as you can to feel like you know the person. Jean has given me this and through research, swearing (and there's been A LOT), and determination I have found out what my grandmother most likely went through during most of her lifetime. I have written many entries in this blog regarding them and each time I find new information out, I sit back in awe of what this little 4 foot 10 inch person did in her life.
Makes mine seem dull and very safe in comparison.