The Love of Thousands

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The saying above really struck me.  I am the result of the love of thousands.  That’s a lot of love.

I saw this saying on Facebook a while ago, and it lead me to think about who I am and where I came from.  I come to this rather late in life; I can say that I never really thought about it too much before.  I certainly didn’t think about it when the people who might have given me answers were still alive.  I didn’t think about it all those years of struggle bringing up my children as a single mom.  But it’s partly my children now who motivate me.  Not because they actually care at this point.  They are busy with their lives and careers and don’t think too much about it either.  But someday, perhaps when they are my age, they may wonder who those people were.

And, I guess, there is a scientific reason why I would want to know.  The recent advances in genetics has led to the theory of epigenetics.  Epigenetics studies the effect of external events on human genetics and it seems that there actually is an effect.  So if some of those thousands lived through a holocaust or traumatic event, it affected their genetic code.  Turns out my ancestors did; they were terribly persecuted in Turkey around the turn of the last century.  One of my ancestors was actually beheaded.  So I wonder, did that affect my genetic structure?

I am just beginning my search.  Today I was looking through passenger lists on the boats that brought my ancestors from Greece to America.  I wondered what that was like for them:  coming to a country where they knew very few or no people; not speaking the language and not knowing what their future would bring.  Were they scared?  How would I have felt, on a boat going to who knows where?  I would have been terrified.

Some of them I have found came to this country with barely any education.  One of my relatives only completed the fourth grade.  Both of my grandfathers became chefs.  One owned his own restaurant and did pretty well.  My mother told me he fed the poor during the Great Depression.  They were all so brave and did their best I’m sure.  My father became an engineer and served his country in WW2; his brother a chemist with a master’s degree.  And my own sons both have graduated college with honors and have amazing jobs. One son is a U.S. Marine.  I think they did pretty well, those ancestors.  I thank them for their love.

I have studied the soul for the last quarter century; now I am studying the body.  I am simply trying to figure out just WHO I AM.

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