As I look back at all that I have collected I am struck by how my nuclear family, despite the fact that we lived away from our extended family, finds great connection to our ancestors. However, we have also developed our own unique traditions and family functions. For example, I have filled out numerous pedigree charts and have thought about those individuals to whom I am related and feel a deep connection with them. It is for this reason that I did my PRE on family history. Yet, my cultural artifact, Bunny, and my family photo of us at Dad’s work , my tradition of the Christmas tree, and my essay about autism, relate more to our family’s culture which was influenced greatly by the Air Force. Indeed my family’s story cannot be told without the presence of the military. Much of whom I am, my sisters, mother, and especially my father came as a result of the lifestyle inherent in the military. While at times I wish our lifestyle had been different, I am grateful for the experience I gained and I would not trade my life for any other.
As I alluded to before, our family’s story is somewhat oxymoronic. We have made a different way of life for ourselves than any other member of either side of the family with the military, yet our story is also deeply rooted in that of our ancestors. No matter how much one tries to put their family behind, and make something different for themselves it is not possible, family affects every aspect of life even down to the toys and pets you choose. While the connection may not be readily apparent there is still some connection to that of one’s ancestors. My birth appears to have little to do with that of my grandparents’, but upon closer inspection there is a connection, one which helps me to persevere and connect to my past. My love of horses appears at first to be an anomaly since no one in my nuclear family is horse crazy, yet my great-grandfather, and my great, great-grandfather. My father’s choice of career which shaped me also appears anomalous, but in fact his, and my, several times great-grandfather was involved in the early American militia and in armed combat.
Family is the start of an individual, the life of an individual, and the end of an individual, because in truth no one is an individual, for family impacts all, great and small, from career choice to choice of pets. This is what this blog has helped to solidify in my mind and that of my family.