Saturday, October 17, 2009

Negative Fours

This post is rather random, but I was doing some thinking a couple of days ago about Daniel Webster Hill, my maternal grandfather, who abandoned his wife and two children when my mother was only FOUR years old, never to be seen or heard from again. As I pondered this (as I often do) I realized that both of my parents had "lost" their fathers when they were FOUR, since that was my dad's age when he lost his father (Calvin Yarborough, Sr.). It occurred to me that this similarity may have even been a connector for my parents when they met and began dating (perhaps along with the fact that they were both single parents of sons just a year apart)!

As I continued along this line of contemplation, it occurred to me that perhaps the omen of my own marital experience had been passed down to me by my ancestors. You see, my husband also left our home, abandoning our daughter when she was only FOUR. Suddenly, I began to consciously realize how much my own experience as a single parent seemed to mimic that of so many of my female ancestors, a thought I've had before, but never had I seen/thought/acknowledged the FOUR factor.

From here, I began to think about how many of the women in my family line have ended up parenting and then growing old alone. I've realized this before, and often think of how fortunate some of my cousins are who do not descend from the exact same line as I. Those cousins have grown up in two-parent homes, with stable extended families whose members have lived long, healthy lives. They've not known what it is to lose a parent, grandparent, or sibling in their younger years, as I have, and this vastly differentiates the way they and their families view and experience life from the way I do. I won't expound upon this right now, but will in a future post. But anyway, as my reflections went in this direction, I began to realize that many of the the events that have shaped my life occurred with relation to the number FOUR.

Check this out.
My mother's father left her when she was FOUR.
My father's father died when he was FOUR.
My husband abandoned our family when our daughter was FOUR.
My father died on October FOURTH.
My brother (Arthur Yarborough, Jr.) died in the FOURTH month (April) in 1984.
I moved my oldest daughter away from her father (we were not married) when she was FOUR.
My maternal grandmother was married FOUR times.
There were FOUR children in our family, and just to add a smile - we grew up in a FOUR bedroom house! :)

There were a few more that I thought of that day, but of course I didn't write them down and now they aren't coming to me. But, anyway, such has been the power of "FOUR" in my life! What do you think?


  1. Renate,
    How interesting. I don't know anything about numerology or the meaning behind certain numbers, but looks like the number "4" definitely has some significance for you and your ancestors.


  2. I wrote the longest response to this post Renate & somehow it disappeared.

    Many of the sentiments you shared have been unspoken fears of mine -- could somehow the actions of my Father have "broken" me in a way that still impacts me today -- involuntarily.

    Guess my response hit a bit too close to home for some of my Ancestors comfort level!:-)


  3. Awwww....Luckie, that makes me sad. I LOVE your long responses! (Pouting with lips poked out). I know how frustrating that is thought. It has happened to me before.