Sorry I have been absent for a while. I guess you could say I had my version of writers’ cramp. It’s that feeling you get when there are so many important things happening in the world, you figure no one wants to read your drivel anyway. I do love writing this blog though. It helps me relive all of the interesting, funny, heartwarming and awkward moments traveling brings to your life.
My husband and I have been traveling a lot this summer but mostly to one place, our hometown of Rochester, NY. I was on grandmother duty for a month helping out with the end of school chaos and taking care of my grandson during my daughters’ birthday celebration trip to Europe. My husband Sam has been exploring his passion for race cars and went back to his racing roots. He drove the “Bad Banana” at Spencer Speedway for an excited audience of cousins and friends. I believe this wasn’t a one-off, so stay tuned for more sightings of the “Bad Banana” in Upstate New York and probably on this blog.
We have been traveling, but I have been on a journey of another kind. This one is pretty personal. Several years ago, I found out that the father I grew up knowing was not biologically my father. It seems my mother had a pretty big secret. She died in 1984 and told my sister this just before. For reasons not clear, my sister did not tell me this until around 2004. I suspect it was because the father I grew up with died that same year. This news was like a punch in the stomach and anyone who has had a similar experience will tell you it is a journey of reflecting and questioning everything you have known and everything that you are. I loved my mother and do not question her life or her motives. I know she had a hard life.
Armed with the few pieces of information I was given, an Ancestry subscription and a DNA test given as a Christmas present to me by my oldest daughter, I started the journey of finding who my biological father really was. It seems my Dad was from Texas just like my Mom. Most of my relatives live or have lived in Texas as well. I was able to discover that my biological dad died last year so I guess we were not destined to meet. I found a picture of when he was young a well as when he was older which left little doubt that I am his daughter. I also have a half-sister that showed up on DNA. She also lives in Texas. I have contacted her but she can’t see the connection and I don’t feel it is my place to show her that DNA makes it clear that she can’t be anything but my half sister. It is a delicate situation for sure. DNA doesn’t lie so she will also have to come to know her mother had a secret as well. I hope she reaches the same conclusion that I did, that it is impossible for her to be anything else but my half-sister. Also, in the process and quite by accident I was able to help a woman find her biological mother and also found some pictures of her mother on line for her.
Through DNA I have found such interesting and exciting ancestors. I have a first cousin in Austin, Texas who was so nice and even invited me to Austin to meet in person. One thing is for sure, secrets abound. It was a different time and abortion was illegal for which I am grateful.
With my daughters help, we have traced our family tree quite far back. I was shocked to find that many of my ancestors were royalty. For example, King Henry II was my 25th great-grandfather, James I Stewart, King of Scotland was my 17th great grandfather and Mary Boleyn who notoriously had Henry VIII’s illegitimate son and was sister to his wife Anne is my 14th great-grandmother. It’s been an amazing journey.
Coming up, we are going on a cruise and will be returning to Panama for New Years. I am back in the blogging groove and will be updating often. Thanks for reading.