The Ancestors

Who we are is shaped in so many ways by those who have come before us, from our genetic inheritance to the stories and culture that mold our understanding of the world. Who we are is not determined by where we come from, but our identity and our heritage can’t be separated either.

On this father’s day, how do you see that your father or a father figure has shaped your life?

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3 responses to “The Ancestors

  1. patt behler

    My dad was an adventurous person who was not afraid to try new plans and new responsibilities. However, there was always a stability in the family unit that allowed me to feel secure and loved. I regret not learning more about the events that shaped his personal life; in that respect, I didn’t take the time to ask enough questions that I now realize would have mattered to me. What I do have as memories still serve, however, as guideposts for me to navigate my own life.

  2. Maggie

    I grew up thinking that since I was the only one in my family seeing the specialists for whatever was wrong with me (now I know it’s Asperger’s), I was the only one with it. I was just a fluke.
    I was 23 when I went to visit my Godparents (Dad’s brother and Mrs.) for a weekend. I noticed my Godfather was kind of “off” and some lapses in his social skills. He had had a stroke a few years before, so I figured it was that. Then I talked to my mom. She told me he was always like that. Suddenly, everything made sense. I wasn’t the lone case of Asperger’s. (Or at least the traits were to be found in my family.)
    (I feel, to be fair, the need to mention that my Godfather is an accomplished and brilliant man. He was an Admiral, knew 6 languages, and studied nuclear physics.)

    My father is a carpenter with a degree in French and Philosophy. He was offered the opportunity to take a fellowship in France, but turned it down because he was sick of academic culture. (Yes, he’s often wondered what would have happened if he had gone.) He most often works alone unless he really needs another person. He doesn’t like socializing. When he and my mother went through a hard time in their marriage, he seemed baffled by her feelings. I felt bad for him standing there stunned when my mom stormed off crying, totally clueless as to how it came to that.
    But he’s funny as hell. It’s a sick, dark, humor that he passed on to me. I also have his love of music (and love of his music, since I hung out on his job sites when I got suspended from school). I think we “get” each other on a level we don’t share with the others. And, yeah, maybe he gave me my Asperger’s.

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