Socratic light and shadows …

A Socrates quote contained in one of JoAnn Chateau’s blog posts hit home:

The comic and the tragic lie inseparably close,
like light and shadow.

I’ve had questions about where I fit into my family tree for years. My atheist father was raised Lutheran; my mother was Methodist, I was baptized Presbyterian. Instead of the standard godfather, godmother gig common to these protestant persuasions, I had two godmothers. At a time when unwell infant’s baptisms were rushed to avoid gossip about  parental negligence leading to hell being overpopulated by babies, this sickly premie’s baptism was delayed nearly a year. There were scores of other puzzlements, so I had my DNA tested. By two separate companies.

It seems that my father is my father, but my mother isn’t my mother – although I’m closely related to her. My siblings and cousins who were tested are therefore related to me, but there are dozens and dozens of unexpected cousins, and the apparent DNA explanation lies in yet another religion … old school, multi-wife Mormonism. And therein lies only part of the humor, at least from where I sit.

My younger brother played and sung my father’s favorite song at his memorial service – House of the Rising Sun. It can’t just be me who thinks its laughable for a 100-year-old  atheist’s favorite song to be a lament for living a life of sin he never admitted to, let alone taught his children – per the lyrics – not to do what I have done.

Twisted funnybone aside, I’d like to get answers in this PTSD therapist endorsed DNA quest, but I’m not physically up for all the work it entails … if I can get some clarity, I’ll not only eliminate one source of nightmares, it’ll make me better able to help my adopted daughter with her DNA test results, which didn’t even yield the siblings we know to exist.

So I’ll post my Utah ancestors’ portraits here, like mugshots. They were man and wife (2nd of five, if memory serves). If you see either of them in your family tree, please leave a comment – I’ll withhold the comment from publication to keep it in the family.

Update 9/17/19: Apparently, this Mormon pair is common to my known cousins and are indeed are my ancestors; it didn’t show in’s special grouping until much later. It was then I noticed the disclaimer that the visibility of family connections come and go, depending upon who among those who share your DNA is currently subscribed to Ancestry. So all my jibes at Mormon beliefs – above – came home to roost, and the only thing that could make it funnier would be finding out I’m related to Mitt Romney. Trust me, it won’t turn me Mormon or right wing, despite my ancestors’ last names.

About Susan Chandler

Now-disabled interior/exterior designer dragged into battling conviction corruption from its periphery in a third personal battle with civil public corruption.
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6 Responses to Socratic light and shadows …

  1. Susan, that is a huge family mystery.


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