Would the decisions of my parents, grandparents, ancestors?
If my dad had not worked for New Mexico newspapers . . .
– would we have moved to Farmington, New Mexico during the 1950s oil and gas boom?
If there had not been an oil and gas boom in the Four Corners area
– would my husband – my then-future-husband have traveled from Louisiana to ‘make his fortune’ (hah!)?
If my Jouett French Huguenot ancestors had been Catholic, would I be speaking French and living in France?
In a different body – with a similar soul?
If my Welsh Coslett ancestors had not sailed from Wales to the colonies, would I have known the actor Richard Burton before he was Richard Burton?
If my Glenn ancestor had not been kicked out of Ireland (to Scotland . . . and then Britain) for fighting over a barmaid – and then deported from Britain for fighting (just about everyone), would I have red hair and dance Irish jigs??
If my Scottish Foreman ancestor had not traded with the Indians, would he have not married two Cherokee women (both of the Paint Clan) and instead settled in Pennsylvania with his sister and family – would I then be a Yankee??
What if . . . my German ancestor, John Poland, had stayed in Germany?
What if . . . my ancestor, Marcus Swadley, had never left Germany with his wife Catherine Maus, and settled in West Virginia – his descendants scattering throughout the country?
What if my ancestor Nichodemas Keith had died in the Revolutionary War?
What if Richard Borden and Joanne Fowle had stayed in Headcorn, County, Kent, England? What if Richard’s ancestors had stayed in Normandy?
And where and who would I be?
If my Soldier Husband had gone back to Louisiana after his tour of service – rather than Farmington, New Mexico – would we have never married? Never had the children we have? The grandchildren we have?
Actually, I can’t imagine any other life than the one I now have and I am so grateful for every moment of it. I’m especially grateful for my family – and these delightful beautiful grandchildren.
Recently, I’ve looked through some of the Grandchildren Photos and I’m thinking about the decisions made by my forebears and my parents and my husband and me – and for the meandering roads all of us traveled that brought these special, lovely, delightful grandchildren to my husband and me.
Two of these grandchildren had a fourteenth birthday a few weeks ago (a boy in Colorado and a girl in New York – born five days apart in 1996).
I remember the ‘older’ generation talking about how quickly kids grow up and how time seems to gather momentum the older we become. I am now the ‘older’ generation and that is exactly how I feel.
The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order, a timetable not necessarily–perhaps not possibly–chronological. ~ Eudora Welty