I watched the NBC show "Who Do You Think You Are?" yesterday.
Kim Catrall was the celebrity who was searching for her ancestors. I found her story compelling. Her maternal grandfather disappeared and left behind three daughters and a wife to live in poverty. Her interest in tracking him down was to relieve the hurt her mother and aunties felt by this abandonment. Ms. Catrall was bitterly disappointed to find that her grandfather remarried a year later and set up another family just three hours away. Her ending statement stayed in my mind. To paraphrase, she was sorry to find such negative news about the ancestor she sought to find but the search brought her closer to the family she did have.
I thought of my own family.
This week is significant to me in regards to my brother.
Yesterday was his birthday and this coming Saturday his death date. I only have brothers, no sisters. They are all three much older than I am. My middle brother is 14 years older than I; he would have been 72.
Since my brothers were all grown and out of the house by the time I was 8, my connection to them was one of good examples. They provided me with men to look up to, although our bonding was weak
Their wives connected to me which kept our relationship alive.
My gratitude goes out to all three brothers who impressed me with the importance of a good education.
A formal education was valued in my family but not to be discounted was the life-long pursuit of knowledge in all subjects.
My oldest brother may have been a postman but we all knew he was brilliant in what he remembered from reading and thinking. Thank-you dear brothers for staying with your families, for fighting the good fight, for your Fidelity and perseverance.
There is only one brother left alive today. He is my last living witness to my birth. We joke around together when we call but we understand how important it is to know "who we really are."