Family: Is it a group of people belonging to the same parents and grandparents, sometimes without “goodness of fit” which causes many conflicts, or a closely knitted group of people who, love being together or a mixture of both?
My extended family seems to be a bit of both, with some members of the family getting along famously and others finding one another to be creatures from such different worlds that there is no common ground.
The word family is defined as follows :
Family: First referred to the servants of a household and then to both the servants and the descendants of a common ancestor. It comes from Latin familia, “household; household servants,” which came from another Latin term, famulus, “servant.” It was not until 1667 that the term was used specifically for parents and their children.
Recently we had two funerals in our family and there they were , far away family members some whose names I found it hard to recall, but nevertheless connected to me and my parents by genetics. Genetics which were clearly visible in physical traits such as facial features, mannerisms, physical build, eye and hair colour. I was amazed , touched and delighted by their appearance and long to make their acquaintance, to pick up the threads of old relationships and reminisce about childhood get togethers, when our parents were still all alive and visited each other on a Sunday afternoon.
Now, many years later, we live in different parts of the country, our city or province, leading divergent lives and yet we are connected by invisible threads, woven and interconnected through our shared parents and grandparents. With some we can pick up the threads of old relationships easily, while others feel like alien creatures from a far away land.
I can’t help but wonder about the lives of those who came before us. How did they live, who were their parents, what did they look like, what were their favourite passtimes, places, music, colours? In short who were they, those people whose DNA and genetics has made me who I am?
In the light of these questions I resolved to try and solve this puzzle, not only for my sake, but also for my children and their children for we all need to know what our origins are.
A sign of age? Maybe yes,but then I am getting older and as I become older the need to find answers to these questions become stronger.
Do you know who came before you?