Thursday, December 26, 2019

Route talk, grief, holidays, acrobats, Salon, Ancestry

Feeling like hell! How's Christmas?
The rest of the family went to Christmas Eve services in Lubbock, and I stayed at my in-laws' house trying to pull myself out of the weird winter depression that's been amplified by being parentless for the first holiday season.

The internet is confusing. I love all the open talk about mental health, but I'm also not convinced that meme-watching and blog-reading is entirely helpful when you're not in a mental place to navigate the evidence-based from the Instagram-influencer-based.

Instead of reading articles or memes about Holidays Without Family, I got lost down my mom's Ancestry.com account on Christmas Eve. It was a weird and very-obvious search for connection. I love history though, and clicking around seeing my grandfather's and this brothers' World War 2 draft cards was wild. I love seeing the old addresses and wondering just exactly what the circumstances were when all of the Jews in Louisville were pushed to the West End and then why they suddenly moved to the Highlands in the 1940s. Maybe it's my obsession with storytelling, but I like trying to connect the dots and imagine what caused what and what life must have been like back when no one would hire a Jew in Kentucky, so every one of my relatives had to start their own businesses.
world war 2 draft card

Random fun facts (typically, other people's family trees are boring as can be, but I've tried to pull out some universally interesting ones):


  • My mother was Jewish and my father was Catholic. They weren't related at all, which perhaps will boost my gene-health, but I'm not crossing my fingers.
  • My great-grandfather died of Tuberculosis! He was also a professional Roman Ring artist, but he was a tailor at his death.
  • My great-great-grandmother was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, which is where that DuPont plant and all of Dark Waters, that film that Graham is in, is about. 
  • My great-great-great-grandparents came from Counties Limerick and Mayo in Ireland.
  • My great-great-grandmother was a HENNESSY. And the name "Angus" is the gaelic word for Hennessy. So it's a family name after all, haters!
  • I was named after a few Brigids on the Irish side of the family.
  • My mom's family came over from Poland and Russia in the 1870s. 
Okay, I feel like I'm getting boring ... kind of like The Seven Things You're Not Supposed to Talk About episode of This American Life: ROUTE TALK.

So boring, sorry.

Christmas morning was sweet, and part of me is glad my parents aren't around to have added to the massive gift pile my boys received. Mentally, grief-speak, it was pretty awful. I'm hoping that the lengthening days will brighten my spirit, and I can grasp a new reason to cheer up. The boys are delightful and make me smile. 

Also, the surprising reception of my essay for Salon.com has me acknowledging my imposter syndrome and realizing that people out there maybe would read something I wrote. So in true ADHD fashion, I'm working on a memoir, a musical, and a series of romance novels. Hoping to develop a good writing routine in 2020, and that begins with commitment to this blog.

Love and light!
Brigid

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