About a decade ago, I assisted a coworker with researching her family history. This coworker and I went to lunch, where she rattled off her family surnames. Between bites, I wrote down her information. That weekend, I started searching high and low for her missing kin.
Another year has passed, and a new one has just begun. On this first day of 2018, as I have done for the past several years, I would like to take some time to reflect on the previous year and contemplate the year that lies ahead. Naturally, as a family history buff, I tend to look back instead of forward. It is just who I am. So here goes…
Growing up, I was taught that it is not ladylike to spit. So, from that perspective alone, I have always been a little leery of DNA testing.
However, decorum aside, I have quite a few reservations about voluntarily handling over my DNA—the very essence of what makes me, me—to some faceless entities. Call me skeptical or even paranoid, but I just do not trust corporate and/or government bigwigs enough to believe that my DNA data will remain mine alone and that someone, somewhere is not making a buck off of all that information or using DNA in some big brotherly manner.
And it seems that I am not the only one wary about DNA and privacy. Here are several pieces on this very subject:
I am standing at the top of the hill, ready to start my descent.
Before I begin the second half of my life, however,
I would like to take the time to tell the story of my life so far.
Walking through the cemetery, I weave my way through rows and rows of weathered headstones. Some stand at attention like sentinels. Some are sprawled on the ground, slumbering. Whether erect or reclined, each of these stones marks the final resting places of so many from so long ago.
I take note of the names inscribed on the stones—a few familiar, most unknown. Birth and death dates are chiseled under the names of the deceased.
On many of these markers, the dates are linked by a small line. Almost insignificant, this little en dash seems inconsequential.