May 032006

Several traditions believe in honoring ancestors and those that have passed before us. Do you honor your ancestors and if so, what types of things do you do to honor them?

From Witches Weekly.

Life is a gift that we have been given by our ancestors. The DNA that shapes our bodies is what remains of their bodies. Biochemically speaking, they really do live on in us. But they also live in our hearts and minds. Their beliefs and values and ideals, whether we adopt them or reject them, have helped to shape who we are. Would I be who I am now, if my father hadn’t been a teacher and a union official, or if his father hadn’t been a cop and a hunter/fisherman, or if his father hadn’t been a fireman and a temperance leaguer? If my mother’s Lutheran mother and Catholic father hadn’t decided that it was the values in the religion that mattered rather than its surface trappings and sent their kids to the geographically-closer Methodist church? If my maternal grandmother hadn’t been a liberal Irish-American Massachusetts Democrat with an bone-deep hatred of Tip O’Neil? If her mother hadn’t had the strength to raise all those kids alone after losing her husband to tuberculosis?

I don’t always have a lot of time to devote to it, but I am the keeper of the family history in my extended clan. I keep copies of Census records and hoard old photos and keep my ears open at gatherings for interesting stories. I learn a little something every year about who the people were that came before me: their names and jobs, the property they owned, the hardships they endured, the children they lost.

Learning where we come from is, IMHO, probably the biggest honor we can do our ancestors.

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