Yesterday I discovered records on the internet about a branch of my family going back to the early 1500's. I now have information about my great( x 11) grandfather... and all the fathers between him and my own grandfather Eddie who died before I was born.
With the exception of my own grandfather, they all lived out their lives within a few miles of Bristol, marrying women within a few miles of their own homes. Yeomen, tenant farmers, publicans, cobblers, and coal miners. Eleven generations, until along came the industrial revolution, and England grew wealthy and built ships and trained armies and my Grandfather Eddie ended up far from Bristol in a military hospital in China where he fell in love with and married a White Russian emigré and took her back to England with him.
Their first child was my mother. Her first daughter was me. My first daughter turns eighteen tomorrow.
Somehow this seems very momentous. And in another way, it's just another day.
Life, if we are lucky, goes on.
But if any one of those eleven men and their wives, and all the people living in Russia that were required to create my Baboushka, and all the people in London that had to live long enough to marry and breed and produce the line leading to my Nanna and Poppa on my father's side, hadn't survived long enough to have the next child down the chain, I wouldn't exist.
And likewise for my children's father...
Makes you think, don't it?
Happy Birthday for tomorrow darling girl! You are the amazingly special product of a long line of lucky chances.