blue moon (2)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Tree Of Time ©

Jo asks: how about family history of the family tree kind!
Well as you know I am from Greek parents and I know I am named after my father’s father, as is custom to name the first born son after the father’s father. My brother was named after my mother’s father.
My parents and ancestors come from Sparti or Sparta as most people outside of Greece call it.
My family has spent most of their life fighting for their country up to and including my father.
My great grandfather fought in WW1.
My grandfathers fought in WW2 with many other relatives as gorillas in the mountains.
My fathers’ brother fought in Korea and many of my other relatives fought within Greece to re-establish democracy from then King as some fought for the kings as well.
That was the worst time in my family’s history which split us all apart.
We actually fought and killed relatives.
It pitted brother against brother.
Before the 2 big wars they fought the Turks who occupied Greece for 300 years.
As for us having a written family tree, I can’t say there is one.
As most Greeks, stories are told through out time by means of parents telling their children about their grand fathers, and the struggle they went through to survive.
My grandparents died at the ripe old age of 100, 105, 99 and my mother’s father died at 75 from cancer.
I have been told of numerous stories and have seen pictures of my grand parents all four of which were in the same picture sporting machine guns during the war.
One story I recall is of a battle in my parent’s village where my uncle Peter was fighting the anti King forces and his brother Terry was fighting the Kings men and in essence shooting at his brother.
It was a pitched battle that went on for a couple of days.
My grandmother told me she had one son coming to the front door asking for bread to eat and the other son sneaking through the back door to get water.
My grand mother was supporting both sides for the sake of her sons.
Today they are still alive and talking to each other but they still argue about the King. One still wants him returned to power and the other hates him.
My father during this time was anti King and was on a death warrant when he left Greece.
As you can tell Greeks are very passionate about their beliefs and are willing to die for their cause and many have.
My family tree Jo, is on display in the local cemetery and the rows run deep and wide.
There is no animosity to each other even for the ones that lost a relative to a relative that is still alive.
You would be hard pressed to find a coward amongst any of these people.
All these people who live in the country side are grizzled and fearless. They fight at the drop of the hat and with conviction to their beliefs.
Such are my uncles and my father.
My uncle (mother’s brother) was killed (murdered) a couple of years ago.
Shot while out hunting.
From what the police could piece together he knew his assailant.
There has been an arrest but the person just won his case when I was leaving for New Zealand.
My family holds nothing against this man.
My mother mourned her brother’s death but within the same breath said that he deserved what he got.
This is how many people still settle their problems, at least in the country side.
For the thousands of years that Spartans have been in Greece, That’s how old my family tree is.
Our DNA is all there among all the people who exist today and all those who have come and passed on.
We were Sheppards, bakers, farmers, cobblers…… and warriors, as were most Greeks.
What ever it took to feed your family and keep your country free.
Well that’s the best I could do on that question.


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