I have been writing a lot of memoir pieces. It has gotten me to dig deep into my family history which is filled with humor, love, and tragedy. Today I took a few minutes to track down the factual information of my name sake. I did a previous story about the haunting experience of being compared to my aunt who died at a very young age. She was in elementary school, but there seems to be some disagreement about how old she was.
All I know is that her death is connected to me and to my family for three generations now. Her death was attributed to a childish act of tag that brought boiling water upon her and she died. I have struggled through the years to get details, but they were not easy to find. The one who might have known was my own father who at the age of possibly kindergarten or a little older was involved in the game. What haunts me is the fact whenever my grandmother mentioned my Aunt my father would remove himself from the room. We never ever talked about her or her death. I respect that he simply could not.
Today I spent some time researching the newspapers for her obituary, but I am not sure whether a child’s death was reported to the newspspers then. I will keep digging, . Time is not on my side. Those who were alive when this tragedy took place are almost gone now. . I don’t feel comfortable dragging out this old family wound for them.
I am convinced there must be a way to get at as much as I can without hurting others. It will take a lot more digging time than I have right now, but Spring Break is around the corner and then there is retirement. I thank “Slice” for awakening this challenge for me.