So, enough with the heavy stuff. I wrote this piece this morning, but I don’t think it is cheating to use it here too, since I’ve written several things today, and this one is the better of the bunch. So…let’s ride…
Let’s talk about ancestors.
Obviously, we all have some. A friend of mine, about a year ago, set off on a personal quest
to trace her lineage as far back as the written records would allow. Each time I would meet up with her, she would fascinate me with some tidbit of history that she’d uncovered in her family tree. Turns out Pocahontas made an appearance in her lineage!! Wow!
I was intrigued, but not enough to pay the $275+ it would take to join Ancestry.com and forge out on my own path of self-discovery. Besides, even though I had heard my grandmother’s stories of our lineage, I was mildly positive that our ancestors would be boring and uninteresting. I mean, seriously. We can’t all be descended from kings and queens, can we? And I guess I didn’t want the proof that I was sure to find. My family was descended from the apes…ha, ha. Just kidding. Seeing if you were still with me… :-)
About this same time, I began to deal with the relationships in my life, and one that was sorely missing was my father. Without rehashing old history, here is the back-story in a nutshell. My mother divorced my father when I was 6-ish, and then spent my childhood hiding me and my brother from him. I met up with him after seeing him talking to a reporter about my aunt, who was being featured as a guest on the Sally Jesse Raphael Show. I know. I’m going to write that story next, and post it on 20 Lines A Day…It was surreal… But, then lost him again, over the years. Life just got busy, and he fell through the cracks.
So, returning to my story, I set out to find my dad again, and I needed some extra information. My dad is at war with The Man, and as such, he’s lived off the grid for most of his life. So, it took some major detective work on my part to locate him. And one of my tools was Ancestry.com. After I found him, and reconnected, I still had this membership to this genealogical site. And, as I wanted to get my money’s worth, I set out in my quest to find out the truth.
As with all my obsessive tendencies, I became enthralled. Every day, my kids had to hear of some nugget I had discovered, some interesting story of a relative I’d found hidden, and of course, all the famous people we were somewhat connected to. Their reactions were mildly interested, but I could feel their souls rolling their eyes…lol. God bless my long-suffering family!
And, as one will almost always do, I found some historical characters in my lineage. And as life also does, it was a cruel irony.
Mel Gibson‘s Braveheart has long been a favorite in this family. I suspect some of the attraction is that we’re a family of spiritual soldiers, and the entire premise of one man leading a group of people who will not be ruled, in a war against a corrupt, greedy king and his gay son, sparked by the murder of his beloved wife, with the added intrigue of wooing the soon-to-be-queen to fight for his cause — it just was too much to not love.. And every time that movie comes on, someone in this family is watching it. “I love ya…always have..”
But, the one gripe I’ve always had was that Robert the Bruce is a weak, ineffectual weasel of a man, who never seemed to be able to get on the right side of things at the right times. His leprous father had more balls than he did. I was no admirer of how the movie ended, either, with Robert the Bruce giving a luke-warm rally speech to his fellow Scotsmen – “You fought for Wallace. Now, fight for me!” Seriously?? I’ve heard better speeches in board meetings.
So, here’s the irony. Guess which royal lineage I have coursing through my veins. Who is my 26th Great Grandfather? ….Robert the Bruce. And that leprous, leaky old man who was his father? My 27th Great Grandfather. Yep. No William Wallace in this family…
I think I would have been happier to find a monkey…