My own family history

Hi everyone, seeing as I’m celebrating family history stories, I thought I should share a wee bit about my own family history. Although I live and work in New Zealand now, my story begins in a small rural town in Sri Lanka back in the 1970’s where my parents began their married lives. 

family photo vintage colour formal portrait six people man on left on chair small girls and tall boy another girl and small baby in woman's arms
My mother’s family sometime in the 50’s

I was born to two spirited and lively individuals, both being middle children of families of six. I know, I have no idea how my grandparents managed, but then, as the books I read show, they were made of stronger stuff back then. My maternal grandparents, a teacher and principal, by profession, had their hands full with six children in ten years. Needless to say, the dramas of growing up in that family are many, mostly thanks to the cheeky individual that became my mother. See if you can figure out which one she is in this picture. Hint: look for the least serious child!! The main thing my grandparents valued was education and all six of their children have achieved great heights. However, the few things I remember about them both are the love and laughter that was always around. Sadly my maternal grandfather died of a heart attack when I was two but my grandmother joined him after 34 years, 12 additional grandchildren and one great-grandchild. I could tell you of so many hilarious stories with my cousins growing up but that might take too much space; the one thing I would like to share would be the laughter that always follows our reunions!!

family photo black and white in front of house small kids in front and men and women behind all smiling
My father’s family during the 60’s

My paternal grandparents, a government official and a housewife, also had five children. I believe a few children before my father was born didn’t survive infancy. Unlike my mother’s family, my father’s family had two girls and three boys, separated by twenty years!! This family has had its share of tough times by the time this photo was taken. My father, the handsome one on the left, is actually a twin. His younger twin sadly passed away when they were quite young. Despite the hardship endured all of them went on to create successful lives and families. Just like my cousins on my mother’s side, these cousins are also quite hilarious to hang out with. Not all of them are close to us, but which family is perfect these days!! 

So from these two fairly large families my parents trace their beginnings. My siblings and I have heard so many cool stories about growing up in Sri Lanka back in the 1950’s and 60’s from our parents, and even from before they were born about our grandparents’ early lives. My family history would fill so many books, my poor bookcase will probably break!! I have heard stories about mysterious disappearances, abandoned children and even the odd ghost stories of evil aunts!! Yes, an epic saga, that’s my family history!! Even my siblings don’t know everything!!

four grid top one family of five small grids of girl with binoculars on rock family of three on grass last box girl on green chair with doll
An album of family photos from the 80’s

Which brings me to my immediate family history from the late 70’s to now. After moving to Zambia for work in 1978 my parents gave me the best childhood ever. Armed with a younger brother and sister by the age of ten, I had some awesome years of childhood and hilarious memories. Trips across Southern Africa and across the Indian Ocean back home to Sri Lanka and finally to New Zealand are some of the most memorable. Now that we are adults, whenever my sister visits, all those memories come tumbling back and become interesting stories for the younger ones!! Yes, I do intend on writing some of this down for my nieces and nephew to enjoy one day, don’t worry!! For now, that is the short version!! I hope my followers and readers have enjoyed the photos I have shared too!!

Enjoy the rest of November!!

Miss Mahee

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