Sunday, 27 January 2013

Value Added Family

So this Moon, the Moon of Prot4ection or Value has been a really interesting one.  There has been a very strong theme of Family, in all it's varieties as well as care.  There are a lot of stories from this moon, so many it is kind of hard to know where to begin.  Stories take up time though and have made it hard for me to blog because when I have had time I have felt pretty drained.

I went away with F for a week with my family and while there we managed to make a day to go over and see my Great Aunt and my Gran.  I asked them lots of family orientated questions which my Aunt enjoyed a lot and my Gran didn't.  But to fair my Gran doesn't really seem to enjoy anything, she isn't really connected, it feels like she is a difting little cloud waiting to die and to be young and beautiful again.

I spent a lot of time photographing old documents and photos too and this has been very rewarding.  It seems I come from a family of packrats on both sides.  There was a photo of a man we could not identify but from the age of the photo I knew it had to be a direct ancestor because people just didn't do many photos back then and they didn't get hundreds of copies either.  They were valuable things.  I had a moment of inspiration though (no idea where that came from, but I could hazard a guess!) and looked at my Great Great Grandfather's picture, which we have because he was a petty criminal and it is attached to his record.  (he stole bread and went absent without leave from the militia, amongst other less pleasant things).  The two men were definately not the same but the family resemblance was unmistakeable.  But there was little resemblance to my Grandfather, so I looked at my Grandfather's siblings and it is unmistakeable that they are all part of the family line.  I was pretty convinced I had found a picture of my Great Grandfather, the only one that seems to have survived amongst any of his descendants.

The next morning, F said to me, 'do you remember talking to me when I came to bed?' and he laughed.  I didn't remember a thing!  It seems I asked him who it was when he came to bed which surprised him and then I asked who it was who came to bed earlier which surprised him even more.  I then proceeded tot ell him it must have been the ghost that was in bed earlier and that that record was definately for my Great Grandfather!  I guess I had been dreaming and because it was so early in the night, not a single slither of memory of it remained.  I think my Great Grandfather wanted us all to know what he looks like....

I also found a letter from a bank saying that some one called SC had received some money when a joint account between her and another lady had been closed following the other ladies death.  This opened up a whole treasure trail.  My Great Great Great Grandfather RC had a sister called SC and she went into service.  She worked for a very fashionable family, a Magistrate and then at the next census I can not find her, maybe she was abroad but after that she is working for the lady she had the joint account with!  She was a Housekeeper for this Lady, first in Kensington and then at a Castle. On the first of these two censuses she had my Great Great Grandmother AC working with her.  Ac then got married and on the next census SC Junior is working with her.

SC received enough money to retire and live out her life in comfort.  She brought a house and SC Junior lived with her as a companion until SC's death.  SC Junior then went to live with her sister EC who was a spinster school teacher.  Sc Junior died sometime before EC and there is a letter from EC's death which shows that SC Junior left everything to EC for as long as EC lived but then it was all to be passed on to any remaining sisters.  Except that EC was the last of the sisters alive so the money passed to all the nieces but not a single nephew.

At that time women could not marry and be independent.  if they married, everything they had became their husbands.  Men were the ones with earning potential, not women so life was tough for them generally.  This story is all about women taking care of women.  One ancestor was rewarded for loyal service and friendship across the classes and then took care of several generations of women that came after.

While I was researching all this, the speakerson my computer went nuts.  Very much like they do when a text is coming through except that it went on longer and the sounds were more varied.  I have found a few odd things have happened when I have been researching particular ancestors!

So moving back into the present time...  A friend of ours has needed some care too.  At Christmas she was happily engaged and pregnant, living with her fiancee and all was rosie.  By new year she had discovered he had been cheating on her for a long time and the other woman was also pregnant.  He is now living with the other woman.  There is a lot more to this story however that I shall not share here and he has behaved very, very badly!  We have spent a certain amount of time with her but also being onlookers in a situation like this is emotional and hard.  She is a tough lady though and seems to be coming through so well.

Lastly work has been very tough.  They called my department and a couple of others up to announce redundancies.  My team is like family, a very good family I adore (except my Boss!) and I lost two of them.  Both went voluntarily and there was a part of me that was jealous they were getting to go.  As I thought about it though I realised I had to stay to the end which got me thinking about where that thought had come from and I realised that part of me knew that it was all going to come to an end.  And I am not the only one, the general thought seems to be that the place will close within two years tops.  But the Managers think we are all daft and we have to pretend we don't know and keep on with our jobs until they chose to spring it on us.

I don't know why I have to stay but I do.  In the past I have often left job situations that became in the slightest bit tricky and I have often wondered why I can not leave this one even though at times it has been the worst ever, but I have to stay...  I looked at some jobs and that night I had two dreams

There was five cows and they were pregnant and they represented parts of my life and they would each lie down when they were happy.  Two would not lie down and nothing I could do could make them.  Then one changed into a bull and it was dancing round and all the cows were dancing around and it was chaos, but beautiful...

There was an emaciated Kingfisher and a Heron was trying to eat it, I was desperately trying to stop the Heron but it got the Kingfisher, and then there was a big sleek Heron chick in it's place.  Heron is my totem for this Moon and is all about being aggressively self-deterministic.  Kingfisher is about contentment, happiness and abundance.  I interpreted this as meaning that leaving would feed my independence and self-determination but take away my true happiness, even if it is a bit on the thin side!  I don't need two Herons! Not at that cost...  But soon one of those cows will turn into a Bull and my life will whirl in beautiful chaotic dancing for a time....  And I can see that happening when the site closes....

So here I am, lessons on family from so many directions, about sticking it out, about caring, about loyalty and I know the path I am walking for the next little while and why.  But I also wonder, what story will my ancestors see for my life?  What will be the one small insignificant seeming detail that takes on a life of it's own?

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