My father always teased me while I was growing up about certain things I had done during toddler-hood, or earlier; he claimed to adore my prematurely acquired sense of humor, despite the things it often reflected back onto him with my ever-inappropriate joke-telling in an out-of-turn setting. One thing that he never let me live down was the self-proclaimed affinity that I announced having to “God’s People from the Holy Land” when I was barely able to string sentences together yet – approximately age three-ish.
He brought it up until the day that he died whenever he got the chance to reminisce upon the story with family or friends, reminding me of my earliest ‘ah-ha moments’ without skipping a beat at the opportunity. My older set of brothers (“the originals”), of course was on board also, and chimed in just as often over the family favorite of my youthfully profound closeness to Jews. I had never even meta Jewish person before making the statement with the utmost certainty to both my father and my Papa (grandfather) from across the room.
I am not sure if I actually recall this detail or if the story has been told so many times over the years of my life that it’s become an implanted thing; but I do have a “photographic memory” to an almost autistic degree, so I think that I truly remember. I recall how hurt my feelings were when they both laughed heartily at my words, and I recall being somehow very aware at that moment that they were not like me – that my set of brothers and I were notthe same asthe rest of our familyunit. I do not remember ever harboring any true expectations after that instance of either of them to really appreciate, nor respect, my native blood.
I had no idea back then that two of my brothers and I are half-breeds; no tickle of any notion behind why I felt the things I did – in contrast to the men (and ONEgrandmother) who raised me collectively; I had no concept of the ties that bind by nature just as strongly as by nurture. It’s only been since I grew older, that I fully understand the affinity to the Jews that I was struggling to recognize and verbalize at a very young age; and now it seems blatantly obvious in its cause:
the worst genocidal executions in the history of humankind belong to the separate populations that make up Jews and Native American Indians by a landslide.
And somehow, the very un-tuned but already empathic blood in my veins was trying to speak to me about such truths and realities way back then. Just some thoughts…