There’s A Fine Line Between Family History Research And A Never-ending Rabbit Hole. Also, Bittersweet Memories

I’ve once again fallen down the rabbit hole that is Ancestry.Com. I can place the blame on an almost complete stranger even though we share DNA.

I was recently contacted by a long lost family member; I think we’re 3rd cousins 29 times removed. Or something like that. Anyhoo, He and I were messaging and emailing back and forth; and this caused me to do some updating of my family tree since I was given more information. I was also able to give him a lot of photos that I inherited from my Paternal Grandma. Which then led me to reminisce about my Grandma. *sigh*

She was my favorite and she was the bright spot of my somewhat weird and dysfunctional childhood. Grandma had several brothers, two sons herself, three grandsons and me, I was the only girl she nurtured. I always felt loved by her and can only recall one time that she raised her voice at me. (I was about 7 and merely trying to walk across the pool in my church clothes because I thought if Jesus could walk on water, why not me?)

I posted the following shortly after she left us, but didn’t allow for comments because I was in a raw place at the moment.

It was a bright and sunny day outside, but inside this cold and dreary place you could only catch a glimpse of the sun through the stained and dirty window. 

Grandma was in and out of sleep. We sat or stood around her bed, having mindless conversations. 

I wondered if she was hearing our words, or if she was off somewhere better. 

I hoped she was revisiting some of her better days; the joyful times when she and Grandpa traveled, piddling at her favorite stores, playing cards with the neighbors, bowling, laughing

I was now standing next to her, she opened her blue eyes and said to me, clear as a bell: “Suzanne, you know, you are the light of my life.”

I smiled, a few tears spilling from my eyes. 

I knew this already, but it was so touching to hear the words. Grandma never minced her words, good or bad. 

I looked around the room; My Uncle was staring at the muted TV and even with his hearing aid he missed this comment. The Coach was sitting nearby, but I’m not sure he heard her either.

Gosh, I adore that woman, she knew to say this after my cousin Will left the room. 

For someone who rarely filtered her words from her thoughts, this was the first and possibly last time, that she thought before she spoke. 

Linds, Suz, G’ma and Lolo
Suz and Grandma at her surprise 90th birthday party; she didn’t act surprised at all.


I’m so thankful that I had her in my life for so long, but I still miss her dearly.

Some of the old posts that I shared about her might make one think that she didn’t love me as much as I thought she did; I mean, she fed me cigarettes for breakfast and almost let me drown trying to teach me to NOT swim underwater. Maybe I could walk on water after all


33 thoughts on “There’s A Fine Line Between Family History Research And A Never-ending Rabbit Hole. Also, Bittersweet Memories

  1. Enjoyed reading about your family history connection and the sweet memory of your Grandma. I have met some distant cousins on, too, and exchanging information can be so exciting and revealing. How wonderful that your grandmother confirmed what you knew, that you were the light of her life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your grandma was a hoot. She lived to 96, wow. I love the breakfast of champions she fed you. Hey, I did the same back up while child is drowning or swimming thing. Is that wrong? I laughed that she would ask if you’d gained weight and then offer you something to eat.

    I had a great aunt who was like another grandma. She used to always comment on our weight. She sent us each $5 for birthdays, which prompted us to call her FIVE DOLLAR DOR.

    Despite my Irish heritage, I have a very small family. If someone reached out to me on, I would probably be like HEY (insert sibling name here) IT’S ME. YOU ALREADY KNOW WE ARE RELATED, SILLY.

    Love that she made sure you knew that you were the light of her life when no one else was listening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The swimming drowning thing must be common. Although I don’t recall doing it to my girls. Looks like I broke the cycle. 🙂
      Five Dollar Dor. SO CUTE.
      She was so special to me; we had a great bond.


  3. Cherish those memories. I never knew my grandparents but can imagine it’s a wonderful relationship. As for Ancestry I’ve fallen down that hole many times. Traced my paternal side back to the 1100’s! It helps if you have famous people along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, it’s crazy. All the work was done for me because I’m related to Col. Adrian Scrope who was hanged, drawn and quartered in 1660 for signing the death warrant of King Charles the first. Talk about a rabbit hole.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Grandmas are the best. I really should write down the stories of my memories of them. The loss of the grandmothers hurt more than any other family member who has died – – – other than maybe my brother.
    Both grandmas helped with long-term babysitting – – like for summers when both parents were working. It really cemented some good bonds.
    Your love for water activities manifested early in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you should write down all your memories for your girls and grandsons. I asked lots of questions and went through boxes of photos writing down names and tidbits with her. Still, there are huge holes/gaps in her life history that I wish I could fill.

      Yes, I was a little fish and knew how to swim way before any of my friends.


  5. Bijoux

    I’ve been down that rabbit hole, though I mostly use Family Search. What a blessing that she saw you have kids! My grandmothers passed in their late 70’s when I was a teen. I wrote a post about one of them many years ago and have always meant to write more. It can sometimes be hard to walk through the memories. I enjoyed seeing your pics and hearing about your special grandma.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Her husband, my Grandpa passed away at 70 when I was around 15-16. He was so special too and I wished for more time with him so as she was ‘getting up’ there in age I had this conversation in my head: “If she can live until I get married, that would be great”. Then it was “if she could live to see me have kids that would be great too”
      She was so healthy and had only been in the hospital to give birth and have her appendix out and a darn UTI is what finally got her at 96 years old.


  6. I’m so glad you had a special bond with your grandmother. One special person can make a tough childhood seem just that much easier, and that can make a huge difference. She surely knew that. What a gift you each were to the other!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maddie

    You made me laugh *and* cry with this post. Your Grandma and the special connection you guys had shines through in your stories. What a lovely precious gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww…thank you. Sorry for the tears. She was the only consistently good thing in my childhood and I’m forever grateful for her.
      As lovely as my grandparents were, my Father (their first child) was kind of a hot mess. How does that even happen? One will never know.


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