Monday, February 25, 2013

Oh so politically uncorrect!

Where I worship, St. Davids Episcopal Church Columbia, SC
The question I chose to answer today is so taboo these days that even bringing it up in certain places and circumstances could get you fired!  We have become so hyper-sensitive that to ask a person what race or religion they are is verboten.  You are welcome to take a stab at surmising, but to flat out ask is boorish at best and  actionable at worst.  So why did I choose to bring up such a touchy subject here?  I want it entered into the record.  This is supposed to be a personal history to be passed down to my descendants, so I set aside the silly moors of my society to deal in the facts.  Of course the political correctness that is so irksome to me is only the fallout of past discrimination and in an attempt to put a stop to it, we have over corrected and hopefully the time will come when openly asking about race and religion will not be seen as an attempt at singling someone out for negative treatment but rather a chance to celebrate our differences and share our similarities.  

So with no further ado, I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.   I am a WASP, a White Anglo Saxon Protestant.  I am the walking talking definition of a WASP, and me and my kind have been so for many generations, at least 9 that I know of for sure.  I have had my DNA tested as part part of the National Geographic Society genographic program and have traced my genetic lineage back to the cro magnon of Europe.  I share DNA with Oetzi the ice man found frozen for millennia in the alps.  Interestingly enough, I share the same Haplogroup with the Ashkenazi Jews of Europe and though I have yet to have the testing done, there is a strong statistical possibility that I am not only a WASP, but may be Jewish too!  They do seem mutually exclusive, I agree, but the genes don't lie and I harbor a small hope of being genetically linked at least, if not culturally linked to God's own chosen people.  Maybe one day I will fork over the money to find out for sure, until then I will just bask in the possibility.

What I do know for sure is that many of my ancestors were part of the reformation in Europe.  I have Huguenots, Pilgrims, Puritans, and German religious sects all present in my family tree.  But I also know that the lines were not so black and white for some of my ancestors.  My 9Great  grandfather Epke Banta was brought before the prosecutor  in Friesland and fined for having a Catholic Priest into his home to baptise his child.     Zealots are Zealots and intolerable no matter what they ascribe to or in whatever age you find them.   Epke was a protestant but apparently not protestant enough.  I think he and I would see eye to eye on the whole Church thing.  Protestant, Catholic...what does it matter if you are in a sincere and earnest relationship with your creator.  A Godly man or woman is a Godly man or woman regardless of what set of human ecclesiastical contrivances  they choose to adhere to.  I guess the political correctness was going on then just as it is today, it just keeps spiraling into ever broadening circles.  I suppose it is better today than it was back then, we can be Catholic or Protestant without having to fear for our lives and fortunes.  And things have even starting coming back full circle.  We protestants split from Rome because of the excesses, immorality and a departure from scripture that we saw in the Roman Church, and now protestants are returning to Rome, my own family included, for the very reasons their ancestors left over 9 generations ago.  Would they, our ancestors, be rolling over in their graves at the thought of their progeny returning to Rome?  I think not.  I think they would be proud of their descendants for doing just what they themselves did in leaving behind the "Church" in order to follow God.  So now my Mom and my sister have followed God to the Roman Church and I have chosen to stay in the mission field that is the Protestant Episcopal Church Of the United States.   So that is the answer to the question what is my race and religion.  I am white and hopefully Jewish, I am a dissapointed protestant with Catholic sympathies and if current science is correct you can add a dash of neanderthal to the whole thing, stick a fork in it and call it done.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Boy

One of my most treasured possessions is a letter written by my grandfather to my grandmother 15 years shy of 100 years ago when their eldest son Uncle Clarence was just a baby.  They were apart because Granny had gone to care for her ill sister.  In the letter Papa asked how "the boy" was, and said that he missed him.  That struck a chord with me for some reason, that he would refer to his own baby son as "the boy"  so we latched on to the phrase and use it liberally when referring to our one and only child, now a grown man.  He has always been and will continue to be "The Boy" Today's question is all 
about the Boy.  It asks how many children we have and how old are they?  We have just the one, and feel lucky to have him.  Because of the chemotherapy I had at the tender age of 22 my fertility was in question.  One doctor told me I had nothing to worry about, but all the others seem a little surprised that we had a healthy normal pregnancy at all.  So majority rules and Zach is my official miracle baby, not that there is much of a baby left about him.  At 21 years old and almost through with his first 4 years of college he would not fit the bill as Anyone's little baby, except for mine of course.  

When he was little I used to look forward to the day when he was grown and I would not have to worry about him, and now that he is grown I realize that day is never going to come and even worse, I have all the worry and none of the control.  The good thing is that I see signs of hope all the time.  Just when I wonder if he will be OK he surprises me with a good decision, a bit of unexpected wisdom or a measure of maturity that I did not know he had.  He steps up a lot and has made us proud on countless occasions, so my worry is probably more from habit than anything because our boy is really quite the man.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

25 years ago today

The question for today is what is your anniversary date, and how many years have ytou been married?  We were married on February 6th, 1988.  Twenty five years ago today I stood at the altar of St James Episcopal Church in Clovis NM and said " I do".   I could not have known then  all that I was agreeing to, but it was the single best decision I ever made.  Steve has seen me through two different cancers, countless neurotic meltdowns and an ongoing and inordinate love affair with carbohydrates.  In spite of all of my many failings he comes home every day more or less on time and says he is glad to be home.  He has escorted me around the world to see and do the most amazing things.  We have kissed in the shadow of the Eiffle tower,  swam under a rainbow in Hawaii and best and most astonishing of all brought our son into the world in a Dutch Hospital in Amersfoort, The Netherlands.  Who would have guessed that we would have had such a wonderful and surprising first 25 years?  I certainly did not, standing there at the altar all those years ago, but I did not need to.  I had Steve and that was  enough.   Now with retirement looming on the Horizon with as much and more uncertainty about the future as there ever was 25 years ago,  I do not  worry, because I have Steve and we both still do...