Thoughts & Musings

Ancestors and more

A few months ago, Brianna chose to participate in the Ancestry.com DNA testing. I thought it would be interesting to find out “what she’s made of” since there isn’t really a way for us to know for certain who her father was. (For those who don’t know, I was in a relationship, but was also assaulted around the same time, I didn’t report it and I chose abortion when I found out. However, I couldn’t go through with it and was blessed with the most awesome girl in the world. I also contrived a few lies at that time in order to cover up the assault, but chose honesty when Brianna was old enough to understand.) The results were fascinating to us both as we looked over the various percentages and whatnot. There is also a tab that shows blood-connected relatives and she began reading off some of the names in the hopes that it might spark something from one of the potential fathers (the guy I was in a relationship with). Most of them were very unfamiliar, but she read off one that sparked a memory. It was in that moment that I learned who my own biological father is.

I will admit that it was a very strange feeling, to be sure. My mother had given me two names as possibilities and, in later years a vague, “There is another who might be.” I met one of the named men (GN) nearly three decades ago and it was a strange encounter. Partially due to the circumstances, and partially due to my own age and fears. Communications faltered and I stopped hearing from him (and stopped writing) not long afterward.

I met the other named man (TG) when I was in my thirties and was told that it didn’t matter if I was blood or not, that he saw me as his daughter.¬†Unfortunately, as the years progressed, it became more and more clear that we didn’t really have a connection. His politics and religious views were far outside my own set of beliefs and views and it was getting harder and harder to speak with him over the phone. It finally came to a head when he posted a video condoning the action of running over people who were protesting. I was horrified, to say the least. I publicly called him out on that video and asked him quite plainly if he truly believed that the hatred shown there was acceptable to him. It was then that I severed ties to him and walked away. Did my children lose a grandfather? Yep. Did I regret it? Nope. I still feel the same way – hatred is never okay. Anger, dislike, even a certain level of wishing them ill-luck, but not the level of vitriol that causes one human being to blatantly disregard another human’s right to live.

Anyway, when Brianna took that test, it became clear that TG was, in fact, not blood related to me at all. I can’t even describe the relief I felt at that. I am sure that he is saddened by it (or not, maybe he is also relieved), but it explained why I didn’t look like him or anyone in his family, at the least. Oddly enough, I am saddened that I’m not related to Jewel Babb, whom I remember as “Goaty Grandma”. As for my Aunt H and my cousin Y, they both made it quite clear that they love us anyway and that it doesn’t matter to them. Yep, they made me cry about that.

AncestryDNAStory-Shayla-111118So, I took the test, too. It was only in part to verify the blood tie to GN, to be honest. I wanted to know how much of my own heritage was as I believed it to be. I knew about a heavy percentage being English and Welsh, and that there was a certain level of Irish, too. But the others? Well, as you can see, there isn’t a lot more going on there. (Brianna, on the other hand, is a woman of the world.) And yet, this is a wonderful way to put certain pieces into place. If the blood truly calls out to our ancestry, as I believe it does, this explains why I’m drawn to the old tales of Cerridwen and The Children of Lir. It explains why I don’t discount the Fair Folk or the Fir Bolg.

Yeah, yeah, you can say that I’m off my rocker, but these have been my favorite stories for years.

With this new bit of knowledge, I feel more steady in certain areas of my life. In calling myself Irish, in following a Druid-like path, in many other things. I’m still unsure of how this will play out in my personal life, but it will be a fun ride, don’t you think?

Will there be a grand Hallmark movie type of situation regarding GN? Not likely, since that’s not how life really works. There have been some emails exchanged and, for my part, I want to take it slowly. After all, I’m not one who trusts at the drop of a hat. I do know that I am open to the possibilities of saying that GN and his family are my own family. At the same time, the world events over the last few years have caused me to look at things in a different light. I know that the subject of politics is a touchy one (that, admittedly, I have not broached) and I know that I am strong enough to stand firm in my beliefs. At the same time, I was recently told that there was a background of unconditional love in that family. So, we shall see.

In other news, the kids and I found a house! It’s a rental, of course, but it’s four bedrooms and is laid out in a way that allows us all a private entrance and individual spaces. My own space is a decent-sized bedroom and a sitting room that I promptly turned into a studio. I am still working out the layout and such so that the work flows. There are still some kinks to work out so that the dyeing, packaging, shipping, and such flow in a manner that is efficient and streamlined.

I’ve also moved a small desk into my bedroom and that one is only for divination and writing. NO electronic devices are on that desk. It’s rather nice to have that space set aside without the computer and iPad. Though, I will admit that I sometimes have the iPad on my bed playing one of my Pandora stations while I’m in there writing.

Our plan is still to continue saving up for land. However, we aren’t fully decided on where. I want an area where I’m not going to be shoveling several inches of snow each winter. Brianna wants four seasons and “green”. Anthony wants oak trees. I laugh about all that because I know that one of us will have to compromise. And, since I’m the oldest (not to be morbid) it will likely be me.

On that note, I’m off to bed. Half an hour late, which seems to be usual lately.

May blessings fill your heart.

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