Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday Memories

Did I ever tell you about my "Dite"?

I've been thinking a lot about my father's side of the family lately, what with finally meeting one of the 3 cousins I have on that side and with my grandmother's passing last week.  We were not allowed to know much of anything about my father's side of the family and since they didn't come looking for us, we didn't know about them until we were adults and sought them out ourselves.  But I do have a few memories of them from early, early childhood.  One of them is my "Dite".

I don't know how the term "dite" came about, but that's what I called my great-grandmothers.  At some point in my very early childhood, I was allowed to stay with one of them overnight.  It's always been a tenuous memory, so I must have been very young.  I remember a very tidy house and a woman I didn't know who let me eat peppermint ice cream that night.  I was entranced, but I don't remember much of anything else.  After asking my father about it, he told me that that was my paternal grandmother's mother but I never thought to ask him much more about it.

It's a weird thing, having half of your life story stripped away like that.  Of course, we knew Mother's family very well and there were certainly plenty of them.  But as I've grown older, I realized that the whole history of that side is gone to me, for the most part.  Some of that is fine, every family has its skeletons, but as a psychologist and just as a curious person, I wonder what family mores and traditions went into turning out the people who are my unknown family on my father's side.

Then I think about Keziah and David and just mourn.  I have no way of finding out anything about their birth family and I feel that hole for them already.  I don't exactly know what to do about it, either, other than to be aware that that might be a concern for them when they're adolescents and beyond.

I guess this turned out to be more about family than Dite, but everything is connected in the undisciplined chaos that is my brain.


Shawn said...

If it helps any, I seem to recall there was more than one Dite because that was actually a given name or nickname but my father just called everyone grandmotherly "Dite"

I have memories of the most random things. Some totally early 70s lamps Irene had and that she once tried to give me milk with ice and told me my father liked it that way. Also, going to the tennis courts at Pendleton park with Fred.

Wait, this is starting to sound like a high school year book.

Mostly I'd been looking for a better picture of Camille and I'll send it to you, she seems to look SO MUCH like Robert's oldest baby.

Dana said...

Interesting. My grandmother won't talk about her past or my father's biological father. We always wonder about that. There are things I know, but no one would talk about, even though I'm dying to know more. My great grandmother was raised Amish. Wonderfully interesting stuff...but no more information than that.