Who gave me my nose?

I wrote this a few days ago and didn’t get around to posting it. This blog entry is going to sound like I was smoking, eating, or injecting something I shouldn’t but I swear I wasn’t on anything…well, I was sitting on a bench outside the music building of the university I attended for my undergrad studies. Just sitting there brought back fond memories of music classes.

I’d like to add that while I was writing this, I kept hearing a helicopter overhead but was so focused on writing I didn’t look up until I was nearly finished. The helicopter started sounding as if it was flying lower. I looked up, the helicopter went on its way, and my eyes ended up focusing on part of a sun halo! I think the people who are the subject of this writing sent it as a sign of acknowledgment!

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Anyway, the purpose of this entry is to talk about my ancestors, the people who emerged from many parts of the world and “hooked up” in various manners leading to my existence. It’s been a weekend of All Saints and All Souls honoring. I’ve thought about the people who came before me a lot since last week’s birthday. In fact, two passed-on family members have weighed heavily on my mind since my birthday — two sisters I didn’t get to meet. One of them was stillborn a few years before me and the second one died a short while after being born. I came along a little more than a year after her and barely made it. I knew nothing about either of them until I had to obtain another copy of my birth certificate a few years ago. I never really paid attention to all the writing on my birth certificate except my name, date, and place of birth. In the middle of the certificate was information regarding previous births from my mother. I was stunned to see the info.

I’ve often wondered what it would’ve been like growing up with them or if I would be here had either of them survived. Lately, I’ve been thinking that maybe they teamed up to pass their chi—life force— on to me to help me in those early days on up to the here and now. I was born two months early on the eve of Halloween in All Saints Hospital and weighed all of 2 pounds 12 ounces. My dad said he could hold me in one of his hands! I really wasn’t expected to make it, but the doctor and nurses seemed to take a special interest in my survival—I’m guessing they had dealt with my parents’ previous losses.

I definitely believe in guardian angels. I’m convinced those two sisters are among my guardians. I think my only brother who passed on several years ago is among them, along with a host of others. It takes more than one guardian to manage this bundle of one mess after another. I’m beginning to think I should leave bottles of wine, tequila, and vodka around to reward them for their endless work! I wonder if they’d like Belgian chocolates?

. . .

I’m often awed when I think of the generations of people before me. Their myriad personalities and quirks, skills, talents, likes, dislikes, etc. Hearing my parents talk about their parents and grandparents and commenting on certain personality traits they’ve seen in me and my brother always gives me chills. Some things about us are learned, while others seem to be handed down on the DNA platter.

I was “accidentally” named after my mother’s paternal grandmother. My mother didn’t know her and only knew her nickname for years until she named me. One of her family members commented that it was the same name of her father’s mother — same rare spelling and all! I expressed an interest in writing and journalism at a very young age and was a journalist for 12 years. The great-grandmother I was named after was a writer! I’ve unfortunately not found any of her writings but they do exist with a distant cousin who has yet to cough them up for me.

Here are some of the other gifts I’ve received from those before me:

  • Paternal great-grandmother passed on her nose. My nose looks nothing like my mom’s or dad’s.
  • Paternal great-grandfather passed on his warped sense of humor, desire to help people, and gardening/farming skills.
  • Maternal grandfather passed on his house-designing skills — I’ve drawn house plans, but have yet to build anything — and his love of classic cars.
  • Maternal grandmother passed on her craftiness — and temper!
  • Paternal grandfather passed on his curious and suspicious nature to me. Now I know why I don’t trust many people.

Since childhood, I’ve had an interest in studying certain countries and languages. No real reason known to me why I was interested. They just appealed to me. It seems from DNA tests conducted over the last three years, I have ancestral ties to all of the places/languages I’ve been drawn to. Hmm, interesting. It’s too bad I have no kids to pass all this on to. My niece and nephew will have to carry the torch.

Now, who passed on all this autoimmune crap I deal with???