The Secrets We Keep

Realized driving to a date tonight, that for once in the conversations leading up to meeting I never once mentioned the attack or how it effected the way my hand looks.  I smiled.  To me this means its defining me less.  No need to warn about the wonky crooked up finger… For once I didn’t even worry before hand about if they would give me a funny look when they saw it.  In fact the only reason I really even thought about it at all was that I realized I had left the ring I wanted to wear on the counter where I had washed my hands.

I know.  Not a big thing, but it was to me.

Course then I started to doubt myself & wonder if I should have told him that my ring finger will always be bent in the awkward position & no it usually doesn’t hurt, just a dull pain sometimes.  Wondering will kill a mood.

But the reality is there is so much we don’t confess from the beginning.

Not intentionally trying to hid anything just no need to convey the stories or mention the details.  At least not yet.

Should he ask, I will certainly share my story & listen to any of his.

Got me thinking about a conversation about the family tree I had earlier tonight with an aunt.  She is visiting my mom & trying to document the family history.  They were going through memories & struggling to remember ancestors names.  More specifically the name they both should have had growing up.

See back a few generations we had family that moved from Germany to the United States.  They settled in the mountains of Tennessee for some reason.  For some other unknown reason there was sort of trouble in those mountains.  People may or may not have been murdered by people who’s blood runs in my veins.  People who packed up all they had, crossed state lines into the North Carolina mountains and changed from a Jewish family named Stewman (or is it Stuman?) to Christians named Banks.  People who got away with it.  People who fell for Cherokee heartthrobs and blended in.

Growing up I never knew any of this.

I knew my grandmother’s side of the family had a few quirky people.  Some ladies of the evening and a great uncle who made his own moonshine & had to ride in the backseat of the car under a blanket anytime he visited.  As kids we thought it was just funny.  As an adult we now know, he was wanted.  It was only after crossing back over those state lines did he stop “being scared of riding on those high mountain roads”.

Checkered past? Sure.  But nothing rocked my world more than learning the family secrets around age 14.  At that time it seem to shatter who I was.  I was no longer of the Banks blood line, but of the Stuman.   I had been raised in a Christian church, but didn’t really feel it.  Now I wondered if it was really who I was.  Why just believe in a faith of the family, when it wasn’t even the religion of those who were before me?  Gave me wings to explore who I wanted to be rather than just accept who I was meant to be.  After I got over the initial shock.

In some ways it shouldn’t have effected me.  It was their life not mine.  Still it did.  It also hurt that I lived so many years in ignorance of who I was.  I was told about the Native American background.  The Scotch-Irish side from my father.  Just never the other parts.

Truth be told.  We are/were all Americans. I’ve never lived in Germany, Ireland, Scotland or on the reservation.  Just in the United States.  My family is a mixture of so many spices to create the blend unique ours.  It didn’t physically change me.  Spiritually it did, in that it opened my eyes to so much.

So what separates the secrets we keep and the stuff we just haven’t told yet?

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One thought on “The Secrets We Keep

  1. YEAH I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS. WHO WERE THEY AND WHATS THE BIG SECRET.BUT NOW THEY ARE ALL GONE.THEY TOOK IT TO THE GRAVE.SO NOW THE SECRET IS GONE AWAY.LIKE A SHADOW OVER MY SHOULDER .I CAN NEVER QUITE FOCUS .I MUST REEVALUATE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MYSTERIOS SECRET.NO CHOICE LET IT GO. PS I’M NOT SHOUTING I HAVE VERY POOR EYE SIGHT.SORRY!.

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