314/366 [Generational disparity]

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My mother was an only child who came to Australia with her parents as a six year old. She told me that when they first arrived they stayed with relatives of my grandpop but that there had been a falling out and the families had not spoken for many years. I grew up knowing nothing of my maternal extended family. One of my mother’s cousins took the time, in the decade before her death, to really get to know her and to gather some of the stories she remembered from that time. I have maintained this relationship since, even though this cousin lives 1000km or more from me. Email has kept us connected and when she visits my city we make time to catch up. This time she brought with her a folder of her genealogical research into our common ancestors. I dropped into the office this afternoon to make a copy of it for myself and was struck with how different my world is to that of my not-so-distant family. My great-grandmother endured privation and extreme poverty and had to sign her marriage certificate with an X. I have four university degrees, two of them at Masters level. And I am entirely comfortable operating a machine to copy that marriage certificate in less than 30 seconds.

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~ by korechronicles on November 10, 2008.

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