52 Ancestor Challenge - Proud

Well this is a loaded word - an ancestor to be proud off? Yes I do have some ancestors with interesting stories and lives that make you proud to be related. It is easy to become engrossed in their stories that read like an epic novel. But at the end of the day their stories are not my achievement. They lived their lives as best as they could and that I happen to be descended from them is just a stroke of good luck.

Then there are family pieces that take pride of place. The little Chinese lacquer cabinet, the dainty bronze dancing figure, inherited from my aunt who was a dancer herself, the photographs, the tender pencil sketch my grandmother Meta made of her 6 year old son which now hangs on my wall next to her silhouette cutting of my mother's profile as a young 21 year old. Probably the strangest piece I have is the small memorial broche which features a tombstone with initials all made from strands of hair from another great grandmother.

But I'm also proud of those ancestors who had quiet lives, nothing much happened - they were born, married, had children and died. At least that is how it seems from the records available. They didn't do anything earth shattering, but they brought up families that went on to have good lives and made the lives of the more interesting ones possible.

Pride is a strange word - it has something forbidden about it. We are not supposed to feel proud, that would mean feeling better than someone, having tickets on yourself. But what if we changed it to value, that seems more inclusive. Then I could say I value my family history and what it teaches me about my family and the world they lived in.







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