Thursday, 2 October 2008

Whanau

People say that you can pick your friends but not your family. That's true, but when I met my two aunties yesterday, we clicked straight away as only family usually does. Although strictly speaking they are my half aunties because they are my fathers half sisters, there are many similarities between us. One is physical, we are all about the same height and similar to look at, another is our sense of humor and still another our opinions of living life to the full. They are both much closer to me in age than to my father. 

I hadn't seen Karen the elder of the two for about 25 years. Donna I had seen more recently, about 8 year ago. We hit it off in the first minute, catching up by all talking together, non stop. Karen's husband was there too, he just shook his head quietly. After all that was the only thing he could do with us talking, no hope of him getting a word in. We caught up on kids and their grandkids. We caught up on some family history. 

I have been working on my father's story and have interviewed him recording his memories. I got an extra dimension from the aunties, my grandfather's story. The story of his family. The Aunties have grandad's photos  from the war, of his family, from his visits to us when we were kids and his travels around the place. They are going to send them down to me along with a copy of the history, the whakapapa already collated so I can continue it.

I have already begun to work on my father's maternal side, a shifty bunch of sea farers, drunkards and ladies of the night. The paternal side surely must have better credentials. I do know that both sides were very early settlers to Aotearoa. The maternal side to Banks Peninsular and the paternal to Wellington and Wanganui. It will be interesting to see how I can collate this information into a family history, to see what other skeletons come out to greet me.  


2 comments:

deadlyjelly said...

You can't choose your family - but there's something special about genes and history. Your father's maternal side sounds fabulously piratey; I'm sure they account for plenty of dash in your character

Jule's Euro-Arabic Short Story said...

Yes, piratey they certainly are. They were sealer and whalers in early NZ. I suspect they had to leave where they came from in a hurry and NZ was as far as they could go!
Your trip looks interesting, I love the weather comments!