Family Mysteries.

My great-uncle Al was a packrat and a copious and mostly accurate notetaker. After his death, my mother uncovered boxes of photos and documents that Uncle Al kept all his life, along with a mystery! It seems that when my great-grandfather Naif emigrated to this country, he left behind a wife (and children?) in Lebanon. Naif, in the 50s, returned to Lebanon and there are photos of him there with the people he visited.

Are these people our family? Are they friends? We don’t know! It’s all a mystery. We also discovered, from looking through some papers, that our great-great grandmother was actually born in France. (A Lebanese friend explained that Lebanon was colonized by France at one point in history.)  I loved the part of the novel, Bittersweet, where the main character, May, is holed up in the attic, delving into old family documents, trying to make connections between all the details she uncovered because my sister and I try to do the same thing! Our story is hopefully not sordid, as the story of Winslows turns out to be. 

Naif and Sarah

I love looking through these artifacts with my mom and my sister, and trying to put the story together. We have quite a bit of research to do but we have a good beginning. My sister and I now live in the town where Naif and Sarah settled, and where my grandfather and great-uncle were born. Here’s a story we were interviewed for:

And just for kicks, here is a baby picture that reveals the origin of Micah’s crazy hair:

Baby Al
This post was inspired by Bittersweet, a novel by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore that exposes the gothic underbelly of an American dynasty, and an outsider’s hunger to belong. Join From Left to Write on May 20 we discuss Bittersweet. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. This post contains affiliate links.