April 04, 2011

Roots

Sometimes, after I read the blog posts of other people, I'm inspired to share something similar - their words start me thinking about my own life...

Sometimes, I envy those who can trace their families back, back to a ship hundreds of years ago, coming to the shore, starting a new life when life was so very raw here in the States...

And I think about the fact that my own grandparents came when it was barely the 20th century. They sold everything they owned, purchased tickets on a ship, came across the ocean and settled on the East Coast, making lives for themselves. And how, all my grandfathers' brothers settled there in that same region, starting their own families and how I have cousins, removed genealogically, geographically, demographically...and yet, I wish I knew them.

I found many on FB, and while we have that connection of "My grandfather was your grandfather's brother", there is something lacking, some strand that is just not there.

And then I think of my cousins on my mother's side - my parents each only have one sister, who each only had 2 children, and my mother was adopted, so half of my cousins aren't really even related by blood - and how we were such fast friends, even though we only saw each other a few times each year, how when we'd meet, it was as though no time had passed, we picked right up, chattering, playing, loving...sharing...

And I wonder sometimes what sort of relationship my own children will have with their cousins - a quarter of which are almost a full generation older, a quarter of which live thousands of miles away in Africa, and the remaining quarter of which we'll never meet due to my sister's drug addiction and the laws of the State of Illinois, which forced relinquishment of parental rights before she even left the hospital after each of her children were born.

I wonder, sometimes, if somewhere out there, I have more cousins, more aunts and uncles from my mother's biological family...if BB's own blood cousins will ever be more than acquaintances to us...if his step-brother will ever forge a real relationship with him...

And sometimes I feel like one of those air plants that grow in the crooks of tree branches in the jungles - no roots at all, just clinging on the branches, taking nourishment directly from the rain drops as they fall, not even letting them touch the ground...

And I wonder, just how important are those roots, and can a transplanted being every truly settle into foreign soil?

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