Met a long-lost relative of mine in the flesh this summer. It was truly wonderful and fun and informative. Thanks long-lost relative for finding me on Facebook and then finding me in Saint Cloud and then telling me stuff about my family.
Up to the point that Susan found me, I was under the impression that I had no long-lost relatives. No aunts. No uncles. No cousins. No people. That was the narrative that my father repeated, many times. Apparently, that was . . . well . . . bogus . . . also not true.
My lovely cousin and I had a great conversation and discovered so much in common that it was like unearthing a sparkling treasure. You have people. You are connected. And then she said, “So, do you want to know about your family?”
I said, “You bet.”
“Well, your dad was a member of the KKK and you come from a long line of witches.”
Wow. And there it was. My heritage.
I wrote my mom and shared these revelations with her. She shot back that, no, your father could not have been in the KKK, but your grandmother was a communist. She did not mention the witch DNA.
It just gets better and better.
I feel like joining a support group. “Hi, my name is Linda, my grandmother was a communist, my dad belonged to a racist group of terrorists, and I come from a long line of witches. That last part I like—a lot—and it explains a lot—every single day.
So, when members of my church talk about their honored, storied heritage and pioneer families who may have crawled across the prairie dragging their children behind them in galvanized buckets, I think about my mother’s people who were Vikings. The word Viking means “just leave your gold, women, and valuables on the doorstep, and we’ll take care of burning down your house after we kill you.”
Moral of this story: Our lives are our own, and we make them. I do not have to build a dragon ship and sail it down the Saint John’s River, burning vacation homes along the way. I can choose a different way—a better way—and I did. And then I turned around and handed a better way to my children and so it goes.
But you’ll have to excuse me now, I have to go grind up some herbs and bark and things with warts . . . and . . .
Linda (Pioneer Girl) Zern