Thursday, November 27, 2003

Family Photos and a Family Forum

When I started our website back in the Spring I had this idea to mostly use it as a way to be able to post some photos of some of the stained glass we've done. I have friends who would occasionally ask to see photos of it and I thought it would be nice to be able to give them a URL instead and they could check it out on their own. So I put together the site with that idea in mind.

About this time last year I was busy archiving all of our family photos. I got whatever Mom had and I was also given a bunch from others in our family. I'd scan them and burn them to discs. As I started looking at them I noticed that many were in poor condition and I quickly learned how to touch them up in Photoshop. So I began this huge undertaking of going through every photo and cleaning them up. I imagine I'll still be doing it a couple years from now as it's that big a project and I've got all sorts of other things to also do with my spare time. Anyway, it occurred to me that I could post some of the photos on the site for everyone to see as the work progressed. So the site is now a combination Family, stained glass and photos from my time in the Navy.

Along the way I got the idea to attach a message board to the site so we could comment on some of the photos...and so I did. It's been a bit slow to get it going but there are 4 of us who regularly contribute...Bryan, Jackie, Claudia and me. It's entertaining to hear others thoughts about whatever it is we're discussing and maybe some long overdue confessions along the way from our childhood. So the past couple days we'd been discussing Dad and wondering about his childhood. All was fine until Claudia complains that we're not letting Dad rest in peace because we're apparently dredging up a past which should be left alone...excuse me...what is your problem? Nobody is trashing Dad, save for a few comments about his alcoholism but so what. If anything, we were expressing our thankfulness to him for all he did for us over the years.

I believe Claudia is the only one who has any contact with Dad's side of the family. When Dad left home for the Navy he never had much contact with his family the rest of his life with the exception of the occasional phone call and Christmas card. He left with a lot of resentment toward his older sister who cared for him after his parent's died. Not much was ever said to us about his bitterness but I just learned from my mother yesterday that he was sexually molested as a young boy by his sister's husband's brother. That being enough on its own but I think there was more to it all but suffice it to say that he had no desire to forgive and forget whatever came between them. Claudia, however, is sympathetic to those on my Dad's side of the family who want to trash his name...and they do. So who is the one not letting Dad rest in peace?

I was really hoping the message board could be a source of healing and understanding for us as siblings to be able to get together in a fun way and build on our relationships. Maybe I'm thinking too much again. I don't mind a bit of differing in opinions on the board but I was hoping we wouldn't have to deal with the over-the-top reactions like Claudia's yesterday. I think she spends a good deal of time on other message boards and I think she thrives on the confrontation you can find there. I just wish she'd save it for the other boards.

No comments: