Five years ago on this blog, I posed these questions:
Did any of my ancestors ever experience any type of precognition?
Can intuition be part of a person’s genome?
Obviously, hair and eye color are genetic, although they occasionally skip a generation or two. Unfortunately, male-pattern baldness and myopia also are hereditary, as are food allergies and Roman toes. Heck, even quirky personality traits or an abysmal fashion sense can run in family lines.
But what if what you have inherited is something outside of the norm? “Are we,” as I pondered so long ago, “chromosomally connected in more ways than can be currently documented by DNA?”
As a family historian, I endeavor to breathe life into my ancestors by telling their tales. Taking aged documents, diaries, letters, and photographs, I try to recreate my predecessors’ realities, using our words and my imagination. Everyone has a story to share.
Every once in a while, a novel will stay with you long after you have read the final page. While most of these books have a positive impact or serve as inspiration, some creep into the darkest corners of the psyche where your deepest fears dwell.
As a genealogist, I know that everyone has a tale to tell. While most of these stories are of everyday people living ordinary lives, occasionally an extraordinary tale is uncovered. Such is the case with The Secret Letter, written by Debbie Rix, a historical fiction novel inspired by her parents’ wartime experiences.
Now that I am older, I have come to appreciate the amazing restraint my mom exercised when I and my sisters were children and teenagers. With our rolling eyes and know-it-all comments and all-around pain-in-the-posterior attitudes, it is a miracle that any of us ever made it to adulthood.
And yet, here I am, a mother myself of children with their own eye rolls and smart-aleck responses and P.I.T.A. performances, I swear they will be lucky to make it to next week! Continue reading