Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Writing Your Story

You live as long as you are remembered.
~ Russian proverb


My mind has "run the gamut" of emotions these past years. With some (extended) family illnesses, and then with my sister (only sibling) passing away, it is hard NOT to think of mortality. What struck me very deeply was that when my sister passed, I became painfully aware that I was the last one left of my nuclear family (our parents died in 1977 and 1979 respectively); every family story, our very own history, it's only mine to tell anymore.


There are so many little snippets of my life, some funny, some sad, that I want to live on even past my own life's run. So, I began to write "The story of Chelle". This is not a memoir, certainly not one meant for public consumption, however it's my sincere hope that each one of my FUTURE family will get to cherish some of these stories and perhaps pass them along to their descendants. It's mere snippets, little memories, that have given me moments to chuckle, to remember, to know how many of these memories have made me who I am today.


It's been said that, just like DNA, all our ancestors live on inside us. I believe that is so true even when we haven't really known the folks who passed some traits down to us. Ironically, I met a distant cousin from a branch of my family I never even knew existed. It all started with a bit of (excuse me) spit… and the results of my DNA turned up a long list of potential relatives. Surely, I wasn't going to explore each one, but one profile popped up that intrigued me.


Turns out this gentleman and I are distant cousins on my paternal grandmother's side of the family. He connected me with another relative (unfortunately the DNA services do NOT share with each other so we may only find relatives through others). My new-found relative, and at this point a very dear friend, is a second cousin. We are quite close in age, and if you didn't know differently you might think that we grew up together because we share so many similar values and traits.


I am not looking for immortality, or maybe in a way I am? I just want some of my memories to live on for my children. As a writer maybe it is not unusual for me to take to writing these thoughts and memories down but considering my ego, I am just recording these memories for my family. When I recently told my daughter about my project, her loving quip was that I had an advantage… I could tell everything from MY personal standpoint since there was no one left to counter. Yep, she's got a point, LOL.


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