Posts Tagged ‘ accidental racist ’

Broken Branches On The Family Tree

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Two weeks ago we visited my grandma, Lola Mendez Metallo, in the assisted living complex. She told us a story I had never been made aware of.

When her own grandmother was only 15 years old, on the way home from church, she was kidnapped by a widowed man who already had 4 children; being forced to become his wife and have children with him.

One of those children born to her was my grandma’s father.

My grandma explained that sort of thing wasn’t uncommon in Michoacán, Mexico back in those days.

It’s a dark story, and a strange part of our family tree.

I also know that your great-grandmother on Mommy’s side came to America from Ireland, as an indentured servant.

That couldn’t have been too awesome.

However, the fact that our family tree contains “broken branches” is nothing unique to our family. Climb any family tree in America, and it won’t take long to find some less than perfect situations which eventually led to modern day.

You and I also share Native American blood. I’m sure there’s an interesting story somewhere with that too. By interesting, I mean less than desirable.

It seems most old movies about the Wild West conveniently portray “the Americans” as the good guys and “the Indians” as the bad guys. (Accidental racist?)

I think about this stuff. Our family tree consists of both oppressors and victims.

While it’s easy to be removed from the reality that our ancestors had to experience because it was so long ago, if it weren’t for their hardships, we wouldn’t be here today. Their lives were just as real as ours are now.

Even just to think: Mommy was born as the 9th child of her family. How few American households in 1981 had a 9th child born?

The fact that Mommy was ever born is a rare enough situation to try to grasp.

You’re not here by accident, son. You are part of this universe for a purpose.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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