We come upon a major milestone in our family; the 50th wedding anniversary of my Aunt “Jo” and Uncle Joe. 50 years; half a century, my lifetime. There are festivities afoot,my friends. But the planning of this celebration, like an archeological dig, results in the unearthing of histories: pictures, souvenirs, mementos. The artifacts of long forgotten memories and feelings held close to the chest. Things that happened, time that passed: this thing happened,then that one, then that one and well…that’s just the way life goes. And here we are.
I am a woman of definitives and humble beginnings. We live day to day and quickly learn it is not good to dwell. We move on because to survive we must. We learn that there are some things best left alone. But as we revisit this past as linear progression, as a chronological time line, I realize something startling: we’re doing it right now. It isn’t linear at all. It’s a spiral, a double helix, a mobius strip where time travel is not only possible it is unavoidable. DNA rich with the stuff from which we are made is constantly communicating, blending, weaving back and forth, recombining.*
I can see my Nanny now, palms up, shrugging, head tilted and smiling at me with those kind, resigned eyes that said to me what her eighth grade education hadn’t prepared her to explain. Her gesture is now mine. I speak and I hear the echos of her voice.
And so I start where, really, one only can: my beginnings.
My Nanny – let us name her: Alice Josephine
My surrogate mother – let us name her: Alice Joann
*New research has shown that during pregnancy mother and child share DNA. The child actually alters the mothers DNA. Nanny had my father, then she had my Aunt Joann. This means that my father and my Nanny shared DNA which was in turn shared with my Aunt Joann. Then I was born…mind baffling.
“Now we know a mother and her baby have to be linked. Cell-based communication is essential for a healthy pregnancy.” http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201303/the-you-in-me