Friday, April 21, 2017

Family


I need to pause in telling you about aunts and uncles to remind you of a couple of things.

As i have told you before both of my parents came from large families. Eleven babies were born into each family. Two babies on each side died soon after they were born.

That leaves 18 babies. My parents are not included as aunts and uncles so the number drops to 16.

You will notice that I will write about fewer than that. The reason is that my father's family was quite a bit older that my mother's family. Some of my father's siblings I know little about.

I know he had a brother who had epilepsy. Rather than the family suffer the stigma of a "defective" child he was placed in a home. Back then there was little they could do to control seizures and children were often placed in institutions.

I did not know until I was grown and had children what really happened to him. Grandma always said he died in a Juvenile Delinquent Center.  It was preferable to having a son with epilepsy.

I know of a sister too. She married and had children. I have seen her grave not far from my grandparents' graves. Her husband is buried there and several children. I know nothing about them.

So that is why there are fewer than I should have to tell about.

16 comments:

  1. In the days before modern pharmaceuticals, many children were institutionalized. It was a common practice everywhere.

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    1. Sadly yes it was. And people who were considered to be defective were locked away.

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  2. It seems a bit drastic to institutionalize them.

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    1. It seems that way now. In those days doctors recommended institutionalization and people felt the doctor would know best.

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  3. Too bad that you learned later in life the truth about your father's brother.

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    1. The sad thing is that I learned it at my father's funeral. I am not sure he knew either.

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  4. My parents were from large families too, as were THEIR parents. My mother had an aunt who was almost her same age and she had a younger sister who was almost the same age as my older sister.
    That youngest sister of my Mother's? She thought that her older brothers and sisters who visited her parents were just very good friends when she was a kid, she learned later that they were her siblings!

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    1. It is funny how those "change-of-life" babies overlapped with the children of their older siblings. One of my cousins is older than my uncle who is three years older than me.

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  5. There are mysteries in every family. The neighbor across the road from us had a son who had some kind of problem and was wheelchair bound. They kept him confined in a back room.
    R

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  6. I am sorry to hear that. Perhaps they thought they were doing him a favor? So sad.

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  7. A very interesting post. All families have "secrets" (some are not that secret, if you know what I mean).

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Oh yes we all have secrets. I suppose some should stay that way but many should be shared. We need to learn from them.

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  8. i always LOVE reading about family and your post are so interesting.
    you have definitely large family my friend.
    my grand parents were from small families and i feel so lucky that i spent few years with them ,so many precious memories

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    1. Large or small a family is so important in shaping lives of children.

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