Recently someone asked:
“What’s up with your book?”
There was a slight pause before I told them that I was done with it.
And when I said that, I remembered something that a professor told me in journalism school:
“Sometimes the book that you are writing, isn’t the one that you are supposed to write.“
I didn’t give his words much credence at the time, something I attribute to his dry “matter-of-fact” pontification.
But – time has proven his words to be prescient.
Writing about the giants in my family has always infused me with a sense of purpose, as the wisdom that I’ve been on the receiving end of has never failed to echo.
Making the acquaintance of my 3rd Great Grandparents was an ethereal act that shook the foundation of – what I thought I knew.
In retrospect, our unconventional meeting should have unnerved me, but strangely enough I’ve been on the receiving end of ethereal visits from family members before, so this was far from unusual.
However, considering that I’ve never met my 3rd Great parents in lieu of their passing in the early part(s) of the 20th century, this admittedly was a head scratcher.
I was raised with an understanding that I should respect my elders, but what is the course of action when your elders are on an another plateau – that of Ancestor?
I came to the conclusion that honoring them was the only logical thing to do.
How do you write about people who you’ve never met, but who live inside of your heart and have indelibly guided your steps?
I was that love manifested in the form of linking disparate elements of my family – parts of the family that were previously lost to each other and only connected by a love of the shoulders that we’ve collectively stood on.
Admittedly, my faith was shaky when I started on this path of discovery. Only for me to come out of the other end of the tunnel, realizing that God is supreme and the faith of my ancestors was far from a pipe dream.
Conversely, my efforts have supercharged my faith and made me more cognizant of the need, not only to endeavor to be better – but to be better!
I was told to find their children – and accordingly family members were divinely placed in my path to make sure that I stayed true to their mandate.
And – stay eye to eye with them.
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