skip to Main Content

IMPORTANT: The Bladder Cancer Canada discussion forum is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. The opinions & contents in this forum is for information only and is not reviewed by medical professionals. They are experiences & opinions of patient members like you, and is NOT intended to represent the best or only approach to a situation. Always consult your physician and do not rely solely on the information in this site when making decisions about your health.

Homepage – Forum Forums Off Topic What Gift The Lock Down Gave Me

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #39091

    When the lock down first happened like many people I panicked.  I was wondering how I would manage my daily affairs and especially fill my time at home.  At first I thought that I would join lots of others and do the mask making thing or something else charity wise but after conversations with my kids, I realized that despite the difficulties we were given a gift during the lock down.  The gift of time – actual time to do some things that we had been putting off because we were occupied with other things.

    My kids suggested that I not feel guilty and take this gift of time for myself.  They reminded me after so many years of looking after them, volunteering in the church and community in so many capacities they thought I should take this time for myself.  So I took their advice and started a project that has been on my back burner for a long time – doing my ancestry research.  My kids encouraged it because I didn’t know a lot about my family.  They wanted answers as much as I did. My parents were somewhat estranged from family in the UK after emigrating to Canada in 1956 and as a result I never learned much about my extended family nor had too much connection with them.

    Time to do the deed.  Thanks to my local library being linked with Ancestry I was able to undertake this for free.  It has been a labour of love but I have discovered a lot of family members and what they did for a living and what life must have been like for them.  One of the most important discoveries was of who served in WW1 and WW2. Most notably and I didn’t know this, was of my paternal grandfather who saw action in France in WW1.  He was discharged early because of being injured.  Thankfully he recovered and then went back to his literal back breaking work of being a coal miner. He was not a big guy size wise but must have been one tough dude to go back to such a hard job after serving in the armed forces.

    The one question that is still not answered is the health of my ancestors – did any of them have bladder cancer?  What other diseases did they have?  Many lived in uncertain times and in less than ideal conditions.

    But despite that, the knowledge gained has given me a sense of peace and wholeness despite these crazy times. I have a better sense of who I am and who my people are/were. I still have to organize the info and make it understandable for my kids but what a gift!

    I hope that there are others out there that have had the same.



    Great story Marysue.  This winter while convalescing from my RC, I also started digging into my family’s ancestry.  Something I was always interested in but never found the time.  So far I’ve managed to get go back 5 t0 7 generations on my paternal and maternal family trees.  Recently my niece got interested and she extended that by 2 to 3 more generations for a couple of branches.  Truly interesting; almost addictive.

    What surprised me most the the frequency of infant deaths.  How sad, but also the longevity of many ancestors who lived well into their 90’s, especially despite the tough demands of farming, which was by far the prominent occupation.  A number of ancestors were United Empire Loyalists, and others escaping the Irish potato famine, who basically had to restart their lives from scratch in the wilds of Upper Canada.


    Hi Donald123:

    My family is/was centered in NE England for generations. The one outlier is my maternal grandmother who was from Cornwall. There is some Scottish on my maternal grandfather’s side and Welsh/Irish on my Dad’s sides of the family.   So according to Ancestry DNA I’m about 72% Great Britain which to them is English, Scottish and Welsh.  I’m about 20% Irish which they list separately. The remaining 8% or so is a little mix of Scandanavian (most likely Norwegian) and either Spanish or French Belgian. I’m way more British than I thought I was.  I got the impression from the folks that there was more European heritage in the family.  The Scandanavian was a surprise.

    My parents emigrated to Canada (Dad – New Year’s 1956 and Mom followed in March 1957).  They got married December 1956 and after only a couple of weeks together they were separated for nearly 3 months.  Dad had a new job to come to in Canada and Mom who was a teacher at the time had to stay with her class until they found a replacement hence the separation.

    The majority of menfolk were coal miners and blacksmiths.  A couple were grocers, a school master and fishermen.  The women were mostly homemakers.  A few were dressmakers or hat makers. Some were domestic servants. Most relatives lived into their  80’s which was unusual given the time period and their occupations. Some were young when they passed away and there were some children who were lost as well. several relatives including the grandparents came from large families of 6+ kids. Both grandfathers served in WW1 and Dad’s 1/2 brother served in WW2. My maternal grandmother served in WW1 in a volunteer nursing aide division that helped the professional nurses.  She was actually sent to Greece.  I haven’t found any record of service yet for my paternal grandmother.  I doubt that she served in WW1 because she was married in 1917 and had two kids by 1919. My parents were kids in WW2 so they obviously didn’t serve in active duty but my Dad did leave school at 14 (1939) to work in a munitions factory.

    I have been able to go back about 5 generations on both sides of the family but on my paternal grandmother mother’s side I’ve gone back 7 and am currently in the mid 1750’s time wise.  I went down more than one rabbit hole when researching my paternal grandmother’s side because my grandfather (Dad’s dad) was her second husband and I had no idea of her first married name.  My mother gave me a different first name than what I found on census and marriage records. Those difficulties were compounded by some records being closed and that she had a popular name.  The other thing that was challenging was that there seemed to be a tradition in the area including my family for the oldest son to be named after the father and the oldest daughter would be named after the mother or maternal grandmother.  I found it challenging to keep the generations straight. Despite the challenges I have found it fun and rewarding.

    I got the bug to do this way back when I was first diagnosed with bladder cancer.  The diagnosis was such a shock that I basically threw everything I knew about myself and what I believed in out the window.  Part of my recovery included finding out who I was and where I came from.  I found some bits and pieces over the last few years and it was just now in the lock down that I was able to finally sit down and put the puzzle pieces together.

    This was also important because my parents became somewhat estranged from family in England so other than my maternal grandmother and my Mom’s sister I had very little knowledge of my English relatives.  We had no extended family in Canada.  My kids know their Dad’s family but not much about mine so I thought it was time to find out so I could pass this knowledge on to them.

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Back To Top