I am doing my best to assemble the halves of who I am.
Eighteen months ago I met my mother’s son for the first time, thanks to Ancestry DNA. For forty years I had worked to discover my blood-root, the woman whose womb carried me, and though she had died in 1994 I found her present, mirrored in my brother as she was mirrored in me. After the first dizzying rush of discovery, I learned more about her own family, and it all began to feel like a comfortable glove, something my fingers could fit into and feel a special warmth.
That same revelation in the spring of 2018 opened the window to my other half. After all, like everyone else, I had a father; he had children of his own, and I learned in abstract terms who they all were and are. Now, a year and a half later, it is no longer abstract. I have met my father’s daughter, my sister. We spent a very intense twenty-four hours downloading a pair of lifetimes, finding who we were, who we are now, and how we mirror each other. It’s only the beginning.
Now I am finding myself, working hard on putting myself together. It was easy to feel the rush of mother-blood; after all, I am female. Finding the same core in the father-blood is taking more work, so it is a blessing that I have had this time with a sister. I do find a powerful lineage and inheritance (music, electronics, depression), but this is all so new, and there’s a difference between the associations of womb and sperm. I’m groping my way in the dark to come to know him, but he’s in my blood and my bones and my soul.
I stayed overnight in my sister’s house, and as I turned out the light and entered the pathway to sleep, I was becalmed in a swirl of confused perception. I knew a great deal about a mother and a father, and all their ancestors and descendants, but I myself was the only thing they had in common. So who am I? How do I bring this great web of connection into a common focus? I’m working on it.