Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Perhaps an end to family secrets

An added aggravation about the death of friends, family, especially parents, is that they don’t have an answer service, and seem permanently unable to come to the phone.
You can talk to the clouds as much as you like, or over a grave, or whisper to a portrait, but it seems
pretty unlikely those who have left life will hear a word of it and nor get back to you.
Perhaps even worse is that when people go, they usually take with them their true feelings, and histories, mysteries, and advice.

Unanswerable questions

After the initial pain of the loss of an important person in your life come the unanswerable questions, insights into their history and how that history intertwined with your own life.
I feel this particularly with departed family.
They die and then you remember all the things you meant to say, and should have said, and very much the questions they could have answered.
I have enough unasked questions about our family to fill a book. For instance, why in my toddler years did my maternal grandfather live the life of a hermit in a bedroom adjoining the living room of the family home? I saw him fleetingly once.
He must have been a bright fellow. He died as a headmaster or principal. His wife, my grandmother, also a school principal would talk to me for hours, yet, never once about the man lying behind a closed door a few feet from us.
I’m looking at a newspaper clipping of their marriage, on the Isle of Wight at the end of December in 1902.

Sea in the blood

And I learn something that her singlehanded circumnavigator grandson – your narrator – hadn't heard a word about before: Her grandfather was a ships’ captain, and so was an uncle.
How good it would be to learn about those two gentlemen. Did the sea in my blood come from them? Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at


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