Most of my time and energy the last 3 weeks have been focused on a scrapbook/photo album gift. In addition, I learned some kind of a lesson, I just haven't figured out what to do with it yet.
Thirty years ago, I started trying to learn about my family's history and how to research it. I know that asking questions from the older generation is ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU CAN DO. . . And I honestly thought I had done at least SOME of that. One of the biggest puzzles was my paternal paternal Gparents - I knew they were Krajacichs (actually it is Krajacic), and Albert J (my father, their Gson) told me they had had a farm in Appanoose County, Iowa. He gave me one other clue, as well. He told me that his father had to use an assumed name because he had been blacklisted for work due to his union participation in the Eastern NM coal mines.
So here I am, some 30 years later, thrilled to have finally traced the parish (Daddy always said, "check Fuzine", where my Gfather was born! In the meantime, I sent for my Gfather's SS application, and from it learned that my GGparents were Paul (Pavel) and Caroline (Carlina Sporer) Krajacic.
Thanks to the LDS Family History Library (FHL), I was looking at microfiche records and THERE IT WAS - the record of my Gfather's birth in the town of Belo Celo, Fuzine Parish, Croatia!
I was THRILLED!
In the meantime, I've been corresponding with my cousin (Dtr of Father's oldest brother, Julian), who says she has some stuff and will be happy to send it along. Now in the "stuff" is a letter my father wrote her in 1987, in which he told her all of the information it has taken me 30 years to DISCOVER!
I am flabbergasted! I wonder what it was I didn't say, or how I may not have asked, that he didn't think to share that information with me. . . Maybe if he hadn't spent so much time being angry, and if I hadn't spent so much time being angry at him for being angry, we would have had more real conversations. . .
I was visiting him right before he died. Standing in the middle of the living room, out of the blue, he started singing to me what I knew was a Croatian lullaby (I had never heard it, I just KNEW what it was.) I asked him, "why now?" He said, "It was just never the right time."
So, maybe my lesson is that I have to make it be the right time, because where family is concerned, especially when we live far apart, special moments and opportunities for real communication come and go in a heartbeat. . .