Most of my genealogy research has been focused on my mother’s family. But my father was hospitalized last week and has already been moved to a hospice-like unit in the hospital, so I’m thinking a lot about his life, his passion for trains and restoring old MGs, and his family going back generations, such as the great-grandparents and other relatives that I never knew from Maine to Florida (truly an East Coast family).
Besides the anticipatory grief that I already feel, which is difficult enough, I feel like there are so many more family stories that I will never hear. I’ve been looking at old photos (to create a scrapbook), and I found a faded note written in crayon to my father (at what age I cannot recall), which reminded me how watchful and protective I felt towards my parents:
Even in the hospital room with my now 85-year-old father, I still feel myself being overly vigilant, as if I could protect him from what’s coming.
Our hospital visits aren’t all tears and worry, however. We’ve had some laughs with my sister and cousin. We reminisced, and at some point I plan to write an essay about one of my Dad’s stories.
Looking back on some happy memories …
As we clean out my Dad’s apartment, I’ve found more treasures — old family photos and home movies. Some of these photos I don’t recall having ever seen and some I haven’t seen in years. Discovering these cherished mementos of our family makes me tearful but also happy that we shared all those moments, captured by my Dad on film.