Thursday, November 15, 2012

#1 I Thought We Were Just Irish 11/15/2012

My mother told me I had a Cherokee grandmother on my father's side. I had decided to ask her about my father; I never had asked before. I'd just had my first child, and just like they say adopted children find that to be a soul-searching, parent-seeking time--I wanted to finally know about my father. Why I'd never asked her in the  previous twenty-five years, I couldn't say. Maybe I didn't consider her a reliable source.  My Aunt Alice said she had no idea who my father was, when I'd asked her. That if you sat on a pincushion, how would you know which one stuck you?  Nice response. My older sister thought she knew. But her input didn't match mother's.

Cherokee? She gave me a name: Virgil Mills, from Oklahoma, in the Army. He had wanted to get married, but she didn't, having just come off a divorce. She didn't say if he knew about me. He went to Panama; they lost contact.

I never asked again. I never looked for him for another thirty years. I thought about it, but didn't want to interfere with someone's family--even if I may be his family, too; I didn't want to be rejected.

I did think about the Cherokee thing. When kids I taught called me a gringo, or honkie, cracker or haole, I would say, no, I'm Cherokee, I'm not truly only white. Finally, it bugged me so much that they didn't believe me, I had a DNA test about seven years ago.

Boy, was I surprised. I thought we were just Irish.

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