One of the things I was looking forward to during my time back home, was going through all our old photo albums. For about five consecutive years, my family lost four relatives. My granddad first in March '09, then my Nana in August '09, then my Granny in December '10 and eight weeks after my Granny passed away my dad was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.
Picture of my maternal Nana
My life as a recent college graduate was put on hold, to help take care of my dad, take him to his oncology appointments, volunteer with Kids Konnection at the cancer center and lastly towards the end of my dad's struggle he had weekly para's at the hospital. Just a week shy from my twenty seventh birthday my dad passed away in May '13.
My family was small anyways, but with the loss of my grandparents and dad, I now have a really small family; my husband, my mum and sister. Our extended family lives far away, and they're more distant.
With the loss, I've spent the last year collecting memories, gathering photos and putting them in albums, trying out my family recipes and talking with my mom about what she remembers. Within a year my husband and I have unearthed so many fascinating stories from our ancestors. All but my dad's family tree has been traced back to the 1700's and sharing what I'd unearthed with my mum made us all the more inspired to live a 'day in the life' as one of our ancestors.
We (well my sister) drove to The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, England for a day-trip.
We did an underground tour of the drift mines. My mom's dad worked on coal mines and diamond mines in both England and in South Africa.
My sister in a wartime garden.
We had a nice lunch at the old workers house.
An old fashioned street as it would have been before WWII.
The old schoolhouse.
My Mum and sister in an old cottage seeing how laundry was done before WWII.
My Mum's maternal great-great grandfather died while working as a barge master.
Wartime gardens with bluebells abound.
We attended a Methodist Sunday service accompanied by the Dudley Salvation Army Band, with hymns including 'Blessed Assurance'.
It was a nice day out, getting a glimpse into some of our ancestors lives. If you ever get the opportunity to have a 'day in the life' of an ancestor, it's a wonderful way to make memories and pass down old ones.
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Share Your Cup Thursday #109