Monday, April 26, 2010

Family Quest

What happened to Dad’s herd of cattle? Why did Grandad have a glass eye? When did Brenda move next door? The questions continued and memories were stirred once more.

June is 7 years older than me. Peg is 10. We share the same past but see it from different ages and understanding. I always kick myself for not asking more questions after I return home from a visit. This time I tried to make a conscious effort to ask different questions.

Dad’s herd of cattle was contaminated with Bangs disease. Bangs disease is known as Brucellosis of cattle or “contagious abortion. The disease can also be passed onto humans causing undulant fever. There is now a vaccine for calves preventing the fever. When it hit Dad’s herd, the cattle had to be destroyed. What happened then changed the course of our family forever.

No one knows why Grandad had a glass eye. My sister was so curious that she asked our aunt, his daughter. She didn’t know either. He had a glass eye as long as anyone could remember. Hm.

Unbeknownst to me I had lived elsewhere before Mom and Dad moved to our farm. We lived on the other side of the ‘block’ closer to my grandparents. My best friend, Brenda, and her family lived on that side as well. We all moved to Neff Road when our fathers bought their farms.

I love this quest for new knowledge of our family. The memories of a glass eye on the windowsill, a black derby hanging on a hat rack, a milk stable vacant, the new cure for my sister’s rheumatic fever, the list goes on. This history builds and sisters become closer. The years separating us as we grew up disappear.

Our history. We share it, you and I. Your stories have pieces of my own. My stories awaken memories of your own. We only have a limited time to gather. The discoveries might not be earth shaking, but they just might open new doors of discovery and conversation with those who have traveled that journey with you.

No comments: