1 May 2020
My mother-in-law is currently in hospital, and as part of the keeping-her-mentally-occupied plan, I’m putting together a notebook filled with questions for her to ponder and hopefully make notes on – from kids and grandkids primarily, but it also helps me, the family-tree-keeper!
I’ve sent messages through our top secret network (a Facebook group!) to the family asking them to contribute questions to be included.
I’ve come up with a bunch – the standard sort of stuff like “tell us about your siblings”, “tell us about your grandparents”, “tell us about the house you grew up in”, and so forth. Fairly generic stuff and nothing too difficult or embarrassing. So far.
To date the contributions from grandchildren has included “Did you drink lots during your third pregnancy?” (That child’s parent was the third of the five children in the family….).
It took my mind along the lines of “gosh I wish I’d had this chance with my own grandparents”, but unfortunately at the time they died I either 1) wasn’t alive, 2) was very young, and 3) and 4) was not smart enough to know what I’d ask them if I had the chance. That counts for my four grandparents, in case you were wondering.
When my grandmothers died I hadn’t been as involved in researching the family tree, and didn’t know enough about them, quite frankly. Beyond the fact that between them, they shared the best grand-daughter ever. (My sister most likely won’t read this so I’m safe from retaliation!)
I’d love to go back and be able to ask my Grandma Rankine how she coped following the drowning death of her husband, leaving her with six children who were all, quite frankly, Rankines. And even worse, four of them were male Rankines. And about her memories of when they moved out from England in the early 1900’s to Bridgetown in Western Australia! What was the town like? What does she remember about her relatives? Stories about her grandparents? Ooh I really want to know the stories about her grandparents…
And my Grandma Gibson (Mum’s Mum) – I’d ask about her childhood firstly. She was put up for adoption, lived with a couple of families before being fostered. I’d love to know how she dealt with that sort of childhood. As an adult she apparently worked in the library in Manjimup and was involved in a group welcoming migrants into town. I would love to know more about that!
So – apart from “So what was life like on the ark?”, what would you have liked to ask your grandparents?