This I Believe

Sharon - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Entered on January 13, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65

This I Believe

I believe in the power of the CONNECTION.

From the earliest age my grandmother imbued me with a sense of my connection to her parents, grandparents and great grand parents. The Crandals and the Porters and the Yorks were all very real to me. My grandmother was a Daughter of the American Revolution because of the Amos York who fought in that war. The Dr. Crandal and the A.B. Porter who was the Sgt of what is referred to at the time as one of the first “Colored” Regiments connected me in a very real way to the Civil War. When I carried one of their Civil War swords in to my 5th grade classroom, those great, great, great grandparents lived for me.

I was always introduced as a child as “Tom’s daughter”, or “Sabra’s niece” or “Maureen’s granddaughter”. I understood early that I existed as I was connected to my family, who stretched back through all the eons to some distant past. It became how I defined myself.

As I got older, the connections became more temporal; teachers, girls scout leaders, and friends.

Since then I have come to find that there really are a mere Six Degrees of Separation between each of us. When we sit down to talk, as we wend our way through our stories, we unravel and unwind until at last

we discover, usually unwittingly; that we know someone mutually, that we went to the same schools, that we grew up in the same areas, that we love the same books, share the same ideologies.

But, more than all of this what I have come to understand, and believe with all my being, is in the power of the connection to the moment. My husband is known to remind me from time to time that we really only have 2 billion

of these moments if we are to define them as seconds. And after discovering a congenital heart defect in 2000 and having it repaired with open heart surgery in 2001, I have came to embrace , in a fuller way , each of these moments as they pass.

I believe in the joy of the quotidian. What we think of as all those mundane and banal moments that when strung together connect us to our days become the very stuff of life.

And it is through the power of the connection: to our past, to our family, to each other; to the moments as they pass, that we connect ourselves to who we truly are.