Just Digging for Roots in the Ol’ Family Tree

In order to better understand what makes me, I would want to study Greg, my birth father’s, family. I don’t feel like i know that side at all. Most of the information I have is either second-hand or form half-faded memories of a child. I want to understand, as an adult, what I came from. If I could interview anyone it would be my Greg’s parents- my grandparents.  Grandpa was a potato farmer’s son and had an 8th grade education. He became a truck driver and worked his way up and bought the company. Was he happy? What kind of person was his like? How did he treat other people, including my grandmother? He was already married with a child when he got with my grandmother, his secretary, and they had their first child, my aunt Patty.

Grandma was a first generation Russian immigrant (what is today’s Ukraine).  She didn’t learn English until she went to school at six years old or so, and throughout her life, was very cautious about the way she spoke, for fear of her accent betraying her foreign roots.  I remember her speaking very succinctly.  What was she like?  What about Grandpa did she like? How did she feel about her family of origin?

My birth father was abusive. Since abuse is generational, as I have learned through my training, I can assume his parents were abusive to him/each other. I’ve heard that grandpa was not pleased with him; that Greg was a disappointment to him. Is that true? How did Grandma treat him? How did he interact with his siblings? Was he really the cold unfeeling prick of my memories? Or was he a wounded and confused little boy in a man’s body? It might not make a difference in how I feel about him now, but I want to understand my family. I want to understand my part in it. I want to see the patterns of behavior that have followed us through generations.

6 thoughts on “Just Digging for Roots in the Ol’ Family Tree

  1. I’m missing my father’s lineage too, and my mom’s for that matter. It’s a weird thing isn’t it, not knowing?

      1. I’m going to do the DNA test and find out, ethnically speaking, where I come from. I imagine I’ll still feel the missing historical piece, but it will be helpful to at least know that much. 🙂

      2. Ooh! That’s an idea! For the longest time, I thought Grandma was German, and was shocked to learn she was from Russia. It gives me an idea about her, though, so I can see how knowing your ethnic heritage makes such a difference!

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