Friday, April 9, 2010

One thing leads to another...

My parents, Norbert and Arlene (nee Guinee) Wozniak, divorce became final when I was about ten years old. I say final because in the early sixties it was not easy for a woman with three children to divorce her husband. My mother had a difficult time finding an attorney who would represent her-the way she wanted to be represented. She needed to keep her children and she needed housing for the four of us. In the end, it was a priest from our church (yes, a Catholic church too) who put her in touch with an attorney who handled her case until it was finalized. It took almost four years. My mother received custody of us girls and ended buying back our house from the bank.

I had no relationship with Norb after the divorce. When I was 26 years old, I searched for him and discovered he lived not far from me. So, in 1981, I had a visit with him at his home. I met his wife Shirley who seemed like a very quiet and nice woman. The visit was pleasant enough, but for reasons of our own, Norb and I never saw each other again. In 1989, I was informed through a cousin in Wisconsin that Norb had died three weeks earlier.

Recently I was searching Google, and discovered that Shirley had passed away last November. I was wondering what would have happened to the "stuff" of Norb's that perhaps no one would want and the executor of Shirley's estate would donate to a charity or even toss out. So, I wrote some letters to all the people mentioned in her obituary. I probably wouldn't have done that except for a wonderful friend who belongs to the New Lenox Public Library Genealogy Club, of which I am also a member. She constantly comes to our monthly meetings tellings us stories and showing us pictures some new found relative has shared with her. Thank you Mary! You inspired me!

One of the people I wrote to phoned me and left a message that she contacted a good friend of Shirley's and that that woman was willing to send me some photographs! Now, I haven't received them yet, but I am looking forward to the mail each and everyday! I have less than a dozen pictures of my father and several of his parents. I am hoping that the photographs I receive will include some of his parents and grandparents. Now, that would be a real family treasure!

3 comments:

Cheryl Fleming Palmer said...

How exciting! I can image how you must feel, can't wait to hear what you receive!

Greta Koehl said...

What exciting news - I hope the pictures come soon!

Apple said...

I hope there is treasure in the photos you receive!

The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown

WARNING: GENEALOGY POX IS VERY CONTAGIOUS!

SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.

NO KNOWN CURE!

TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!