Since November is ( for those who live in the U.S.) the month of Thanksgiving, I want to take the next three weeks to make daily posts about things I am grateful for. There was an old hymn I heard growing up called “Count your blessings”. So since I believe gratitude begets blessings, (and we could use a little more of that,) Come with me as we go on this journey of thankfulness.
Today I would like to honor what Lyle Lovett called in one of his songs “the Family Reserve”. My ancestors whose lives came and went before I arrived, but whose legacy I take with me. Like most Americans, I am a mutt. I have an Irish surname, but have a nice dollop of Greek from my mom’s side, my paternal grandmother’s maiden name was ‘Fairbanks” which is very English, but her mother’s maiden name was Groessnickle which was very German. Other great grandparents were a Mac Morrow and Gipson ( both Scottish) and yet another married into an Italian family. Needless to say, there is a lot of veggies in my genetic stew.
I also carry some very strong genetic markers (as we all do). I have hitchhiker’s thumb (a thumb bent at an angle.) I can roll my tongue ( I thought everyone could but no, it’s a genetic thing.)One set of toes I have ‘Morton’s toe” i.e. “Greek toes”, my second toe is bigger than all my other toes, but oddly on my other foot, I have ‘Celtic toes’ second and third toe are both the largest. (Toes are a huge genetic marker) And my favorite I have a cleft chin (aka Butt-chin) all of these are genetic markers of some sort. We all have them, and you have some I don’t as well.
But more than last names and physical characteristics these were real people with real lives. I have a picture on my wall of my Great-great grandfather Corcoran (thanks Mom) who came to America from Ireland during the potato famine. ( which was largely manufactured by the British, IMO) Some people say he looks like me although I think he looks more like my cousin Rex. He and his two brothers were stowaways on a ship bound to America that took a lot of moxie. I also have some poetry my great grandfather wrote to my great grandmother. Even though he dies before I was born I feel like I know him a bit through his writing. (which is just lovely, I need to post it sometime)
So many untold stories, and unknown lives, but if you believe Jung’s theories on collective unconscious are still part of who I am. Thank you to you all, from the many lands you came from and the many hopes and dreams you carried, may I honor your walk and the path you have set for me.