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The Only Good Ancestor

My husband spends a lot of time on his computer searching for his family history.

“The only good ancestor is a dead ancestor.” I remark.

Dee studies me for a moment and then asks, “Is nothing sacred to you?”

“Everything is sacred to me,” I declare defensively. Is it sacrilege when as far as I can tell all my ancestors have crossed over to the other side? Any ancestor worth his salt is, well… dead! Let's be honest, is there really any other kind?

What are the qualifications for ancestry anyway? Well, if I were applying for an Ancestor position, I’d say I would need the following experience:

I need to be dead, and probably for a number of years—at least for a generation or two. My Dad has been working on that for about a quarter of a century and that just doesn’t seem long enough. My Mom has only been gone a couple of years, so no way is she a full-fledged recruit. Maybe my grandparents qualify and certainly their parents.

It bodes well if you had a hard and depressing life. There are a lot of pioneer applicants here. Pioneers are automatically bumped up to the top, cushiest positions of Ancestorship, and rightfully so. Most of them have really beefy resumes. Pain? Check. Sickness? Check. Hunger, Sorrow and Sacrifice? Check, check, and check! Extra credit for Premature Death. Really, how many happy pioneer stories have you heard?

I wonder if our great-great-grandparents look at us through the same rose-colored glasses that we look at them. From behind they become more amazing than they ever were in life. So maybe they amplify our good traits as well? For instance, they could call my irreverence sauciness!

I heard that the experiences of our ancestors are transferred and buried deep within our DNA. You do the research, but if that’s true, crazy cousin Bertha might not be totally off her rocker when she remembers going down with the Titanic.

The traits of our Ancestors are much like Field Bind Weed, more commonly known as Morning Glory. One seed can germinate deep within the soil after many many generations and then suddenly burst through in glory. That is, if you think Morning Glory is glorious. That's kind of a noxious example, I know, but gardeners like me and my great-great-grandmother will appreciate it. The significance of our ancestry is boundless, or bind-less if you're a Field Bind Weed. But even the infamous have an effect.

So maybe my husband’s obsession with his Family History is completely justifiable. Besides, I’m going to be a dead ancestor when I grow up, whether I like it or not. ​