July 31, 2013

Who Do You Think You Are? Episode 2 Brings Back Memories of My Father

Who Do You Think You Are? Season 4 Episode 1
Last night I watched Who Do You Think You Are? with Christina Applegate following her grandmother in hopes of giving some peace to her father. 

If you missed Episode 2 you can tune in next Tuesday on TCL as they, in partnership with Ancestry.com , present Episode 3. In the next episode, Chelsea Handler unearths Nazi roots in Germany.

The series is powerful this year with some gritty stories emerging. I like that so far they are focusing on one ancestor and really digging into records such as newspapers, court records and census records to add details to the ancestor.

Last night's episode was very moving. I don't want to spoil it for those who have not yet watched so all I will say is that Christina's father never knew his mother, not even her name. He was raised by his paternal grandmother until age 14 when he went to live with his father. You will not want to miss this episode and the unsettling truths that are revealed. But in the end there is closure for her dad.

 Watching this last night brought to mind my discovery of my father's gravesite 50 years after he died. I was the only one in the family who knew what cemetery he was in, but the cemetery had told me he was in potter's field with no marker and they had no way of knowing exactly where he was. I lived with that sadness for 44 years and then a very kind man found the record showing the exact location of Dad's ashes. 

I was told I could add a simple marker, but I decided he should be with his family so had him re-interred in his home town where his parents, brothers, grandparents and great-grandparents are buried. A small plaque with his name and dates of birth and death was added to the existing marker where he now rests. It was not possible to bury him with his mother or father so I opted to place him with my mother and her parents.  I cannot describe the immense feeling of closure I felt when that marker was put on the base of the existing stone. I visit as often as I can and leave a memento to show Dad I was there. 

It took 50 years but my dad now rests with his family and family members can visit his grave. It took Christina's dad 70 years to find his mother and I'm so happy that he did.


1 comment:

Nicholas Weerts said...

I thought this episode was very touching! And a familiar situation for many of us who come from a family that was "broken" in one way or another... Closure is very important for us all