Thursday, October 8, 2015

Unknown Family Secrets

The other night I was watching a TV show about using forensic science to bring answers to crimes that had been committed.  In this case, a lady had witnessed her father beating her mother so badly that she died.  The lady then saw her dad dig a hole out by their pool, lay her mother in it and have cement poured over it the next day.

The thing is, the lady was so young that none of this made sense.  She just thought her mother was sleeping and wouldn't wake up.  A series of events unfolded and they were able to convict her father of murder, which then he went to prison.  She was so young at the time, that her brain could not process what had happened.

There are family secrets.  There are unknown family secrets.

I remember as a very small child, my mom had a newspaper clipping of Patty Hearst lying on the top of her dresser.  If my memory is correct, there was very little else on top of her dresser.  I remember asking her why the news clipping was up there and she dismissed it as if I was supposed to just not say anything.  I never understood why it was there and for a long time, I didn't even know what the story was about.  Yet, I feel like that news clipping she had was of significance.  I just don't know the rest of the story.

There are family secrets.  There are unknown family secrets.

I remember when my grandmother died and I was probably around grade school age.  There were all kinds of family dynamics taking place among the remaining family members.  The part that got me as a small child though was the reason I was told my grandmother died.  According to the version of the story that was told to me, her and my grandfather were walking back across the street to their house from the neighbors after playing cards, and she fell in the street and died.

Even to my little mind at the time, this didn't make sense.  I tried to question it and I got upset with the adults that would not tell me more.  I didn't know my grandmother that well, but she was always sweet and nice to me.  Finally after questioning so much, I was told to just let it go.  I was completely dismissed.  It didn't make sense to me then and it doesn't make sense to me now.  You don't just die as a result of falling in the street.

I know that my mother hated the Masons for which her father was a part of, but she wouldn't tell me why.  I know my grandfather was an alcoholic and I believe I know what happened, but I'm not going to state it publicly.  I know he changed the spelling of their family name at one point.  There were other things that I know, but so much I don't know.

There are family secrets.  There are unknown family secrets.

When I saw this episode on TV, it awakened some distant memory of which have no reference point.  It bugs me because I feel like there is more than I know, but yet I don't know if that is true.  I would like to dismiss it, but it is alive and active, just out of plain view.

I know from past experience that I've had moments in my life where I knew something, but yet I could not remember it.  The time where the color purple frightened me and yet at the time, I had no clue as to why.  It went on for a considerable time this until one day my mind pieced the other parts together.

I fear I could sit down and write a fictional novel about my family and it may be more true than I realize.  I will never forget the last letter I got from my mom that said "we all have skeletons in our closet".  To this day, I still have no clue what that means and since she is no longer alive, I will never know.  I'm sure other members of the family could help piece things together, but they all want to dismiss it from what I can tell.

Yes, there are family secrets.  Yes, there are unknown family secrets.

I hate secrets!

I abhor secrets!

Blog Post And Images (c) 8/22/15 by Don Shetterly

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