Keeping Secrets

21 May

More naps these days

As I dive into this memoir thing, I’m coming to the realization that I knew very little about my adopted family.  Is that odd? I don’t know.  I can only recall a scant number of facts about their backgrounds, and after that I have to basically guess about it all.  It’s too bad, I guess, this gaping hole in my ancestral background, and I’m not sure who to blame for it.  We all love to blame, don’t we?  Should I blame my adopted parents for not telling me, or blame myself, heaven forbid, for not asking enough questions during my first twenty years?  I sure don’t want to blame myself although, truth be known, I’m comfortable doing so.

I’m in the process of building a fence in the backyard between us and our neighbors to the north. It’s been a long time coming, one of those chores that just seem to constantly fall down the to-do list.  This fence is eight feet tall rather than the customary six.  That was a purposeful decision, of course, as all are.  We have gone a good number of years with zero privacy back there, and a good number of years enduring the arguing young couple and their countless guests and loud parties.  I can’t do anything about the sound, but I sure can do something about the privacy.

And maybe those first two paragraphs are related.  Maybe my parents just wanted privacy and so did not share their past with their only son.

Finding the reasons for actions, or inactions, is important, don’t you think? It’s something I’m trying to do more of as I grow older and hopefully wiser.  It’s one of the reasons I’ve opened up so much about myself in my writings.  “Why keep secrets” is my mantra.  In truth, nobody can hurt me as much as I hurt myself in the past, so judging me will be like water off a duck’s back.  I might as well just open up and have at it, and perhaps a better understanding about me . . . and perhaps about you . . . will come from it.

There really is a great freedom which comes with growing older and not giving a shit any longer.  I wonder if my parents would have been more forthcoming if they had lived longer?

Knowing them, I doubt it!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

24 Responses to “Keeping Secrets”

  1. Janine Huldie May 21, 2019 at 1:43 pm #

    Aw, I get it and the older I get the more I don’t care here, as well with being so secretive, as well as what others think. Maybe it does have to do with age or maybe it is just the person you are deep down. Kind of nature versus nurture issue. But still, it is what it is, I suppose. That said Happy Tuesday and hope you are having a great week so far 🙂

    • Billybuc May 21, 2019 at 4:32 pm #

      Thank you Janine! It’s nice to be comfortable in my own skin and not worry about what others think. It is liberating.

  2. Susan Zutautas May 21, 2019 at 1:50 pm #

    I wish I’d have known more about my mother (who died when I was 3) than what I do. My dad never really liked being asked questions about her and so I rarely asked him anything about her. The things I did learn about her I got from my grandmother and a bit from my aunt. I don’t blame myself for not finding out more about her but still, I wish I did.
    We were fortunate last year when our neighbor put up a high fence. He didn’t like our dogs but we lost Maggie last May and Bruce a few years earlier.
    Yes, I totally agree with you that there is freedom growing older.
    Have a great week Bill.

    • Billybuc May 21, 2019 at 4:34 pm #

      There is much to be said for high fences, Susan. I’m quite happy with my decision to build one. I’m sorry for the loss of your dogs.

  3. Cecil kingsley hutchinson May 21, 2019 at 1:50 pm #

    Sweet musings. So much ‘ifs’ and ‘whys’ for all of us! I guess that Love, in its mercy, planned it all. There’s a reason somewhere. A crazy one, perhaps? Who knows? You seem to have done well. Pat yourself as you sometimes do. Peace.

    • Billybuc May 21, 2019 at 4:34 pm #

      Who knows indeed, Manatita? it takes a wiser man than me to figure it all out. I just ask questions. 🙂

  4. divalounger May 21, 2019 at 2:40 pm #

    Mostly I think that people just forget to pass on their stories–they are too busy living–and maybe that is at it should be–no blame needed on this one anywhere I think–On another note, enjoy your privacy–happy fence building

    • Billybuc May 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm #

      Thank you Audrey. I would normally agree with you but no, with my parents, they were secrets meant to be kept.

  5. explorereikiworld May 21, 2019 at 3:33 pm #

    Family secrets can sometimes be overwhelming. Maybe that’s why parents don’t share so much when we are young. 8 feet fence is a tall one! I wish you the best as you install that mighty fence 🙂

    Good luck as you go back in history to find more details for your memoir.

    • Billybuc May 21, 2019 at 4:36 pm #

      Thank you Ruchira. I’m afraid the family history belongs to only me. Everyone else has passed on.

  6. Emese Fromm May 21, 2019 at 4:48 pm #

    Maybe it’s not so much about secrecy, as much as the generations before us didn’t think much of the past; they lived life in the present. They didn’t think of passing down stories. Except maybe the very old. The most stories I know of my family are from my great-grandmother. I was lucky enough to know her (she lived til her nineties), and I was a quiet, patient child who loved stories and could sit for hours listening to her (instead of playing with other kids). Maybe you need a combination like that for family stories to be passed down. But they are still there, all the stories, you just need to find them. Good luck with finding the old stories, Bill. And thank you for doing it; in the end all your readers will benefit from your memoir. In a lot of ways, all our stories have more in common than we think, no matter where we came from and how we grew up; reading individual stories make us realize this – and it’s something we all need to see.

    • Billybuc May 22, 2019 at 1:35 pm #

      Thank you Emese, for your kind words. Part secrecy, me thinks,but I like your explanation as well. That generation was close-mouthed in general.

  7. Shauna L Bowling May 21, 2019 at 4:58 pm #

    Bill, I suspect you’re going to learn a lot about yourself as you write your memoirs.

    I wouldn’t take offense to your parents being “secretive”. Back in their day adults didn’t discuss finances or share personal information with their children, or anyone else, really. It’s just the way things were back then.

    • Billybuc May 22, 2019 at 1:36 pm #

      All true, Sha, and I agree, I’m already learning things about myself…it’s going to be a fascinating exercise, me thinks!

  8. Lawrence Hebb May 21, 2019 at 6:40 pm #

    I get what you’re saying. I’ve been working on my Family History for a few years and the stuff I’ve found out has been amazing, but I also found snippets of what was ‘left out’, stuff they didn’t really want the next generation finding out and I think I know why they just weren’t proud of the situation and what happened.
    Maybe finding out would be therapeutic, but maybe it’ll lead to more questions!
    But maybe we should tell the ‘warts and all’ to the next generation.

    • Billybuc May 22, 2019 at 1:37 pm #

      I’m a wart kind of guy, Lawrence, so mine will be as revealing as I can make it and still respect them in the process.

  9. Mike May 21, 2019 at 9:46 pm #

    Hi Bill – I have relatives who found long lost family members via DNA tests that found close matches to themselves. That could fill in some blanks for you. As for your adoptive parents, I think you know the important stuff, as you have related it often in your writing. Your Dad likely has military records that you can request from the government, if they have not been lost. The records, not the government.

    • Billybuc May 22, 2019 at 1:38 pm #

      I hadn’t thought about military records, Mike. I wonder how hard that would be to obtain? Anyway, thanks for the suggestions.

  10. Sageleaf May 21, 2019 at 10:36 pm #

    I couldn’t resist. Still sitting here at the ranger station. Gotta go in a minute, but had to take some time for my favorite Big Bro. 🙂
    Memoir writing. know, I love “disconnecting” (even though I have my computer for emergencies, ie. school websites crashing, that sort of thing, and for those times when your phone overheats and dies like mine did yesterday from the hot beach sun…ooops). It’s those times when our voices become loud and clear.
    My voice is telling me to stop listening to coaches, to people who tell me to “sell.” My heart says to return: return to the poems I used to write, the artwork, the short stories. I can’t sell. I teach.
    And you teach, my friend. You’ll teach through your memoirs and through when you learn about yourself and your family through writing.
    I love this journey. So glad to know you on this life journey, my friend. 🙂

    • Billybuc May 22, 2019 at 1:38 pm #

      Writing from a ranger station, Lil Sis? Now that’s dedication, and I so appreciate it. And yes, my friend, you are a teacher…something to be proud of, by the way.

  11. Lori Colbo May 22, 2019 at 12:02 am #

    It’s amazing how age produces wisdom and letting go. When I think of how many mountains I made of a teaspoon of dirt when I was young I shake my head. I know very little about my mother’s life growing up. She had one or two stories. I do know a lot more about her parents. Fortunately, I have tons of stories on my dad and his family. And I treasure them.
    Isn’t interesting how writing memoirs brings so much to the surface. I can’t wait to read it. God bless you, dear Bill.

    • Billybuc May 22, 2019 at 1:39 pm #

      Thank you, Lori, and may God bless you as well. You are a good person.

  12. phoenix2327 May 22, 2019 at 12:06 pm #

    Could not agree more, Bill. Once I quit worrying about the small stuff, I found I had more time to do the things I enjoy. I wish I had known this sooner, but, as they say, with age comes wisdom.

    Have a great day.

    • Billybuc May 22, 2019 at 1:40 pm #

      Ah well, Zulma, at least we finally figured it out. Now life is a joy rather than a battlefield.

      Happy Hump Day to you!

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