The Untraceable

Puzzle Pieces

Welcome back, Ramona Furst!

We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace. (1 Chronicles 29:15 New Living Translation)

Except for my passport, most of my family’s past is untraceable.

My father was born in the U.S. Okay that’s easy. His parents and the following generation preceding them came from Russia. Due to religious persecution, they came to North America via South America until they took up residence in California. My (maternal) grandfather was Portuguese and grandmother Scot/Irish. My parents met while attending school at Bible college in California.

Then, of course, I married a Norwegian.

My birth certificate and passport states I was born in the Central African Republic. Customs officials to this day still give me a hard time. “You were born where?”  I tell them right off the bat they would never be able to locate the little village where I was born even with Google Earth.

I have always felt somewhat displaced. A missionary kid, travelling between two continents, then different States and then to another country called Canada.

Necessity doesn’t spur me on to travel. No, I’ve been bitten by the bug. We’re talking about the love of adventure and wonderful friendships that have allowed me this privilege of sharing moments and memories over the last thirty years. St. Petersburg, Russia. Israel. Egypt. Petra, Jordan. Belize. Bulgaria. And many more.

There was a time I thought I’d seriously look into finding out more about where I came from, check out my family tree and learn more about my ancestors. But I’ve changed my mind for now.

What is irreplaceable and traceable are the people who God used in my life. Seemingly uneventful but eventful encounters that made me who I am today. Some would say some of those incidents and people were too obscure to matter but I’d say, “No way!”

“Flown the coop,” you said?  See, you made my mind wander down memory lane. Or is it because I was having a Senior’s Moment? This “Arctic Vortex” that’s holding so many of us in its grip has sure made me think of doing so. Since I can’t  for now, I’ll warm myself up by looking at old photo albums with a hot cup of tea.

6 thoughts on “The Untraceable

  1. Ramona, I understand why you’d feel displaced, with so many scattered roots, but maybe it makes you a citizen of the globe — in ways people with a compact root system would never achieve.

    I so agree, it’s the people and the encounters that shape us. And I’m glad you’re one of the ones shaping me.

  2. I had a Russian great-grandfather on my mom’s side, and lots of Scots-Irish on my dad’s, some that go back to the 1600’s. But it’s hard to imagine all the places you’ve lived–I live within five miles of where I did when I was born! Never lived outside of Ohio, even. But I do like to travel, see other places, experience other cultures. It really does shape your world view.

    1. I’ve always lived in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, and haven’t traveled too far away, just Montreal to the east, Vancouver Island to the West, and Florida to the South. It’s fun to have friends who are well-traveled with an interesting cultural history like my friend and guest blogger Ramona. Plus, my eldest son now lives in the home of our ancestors, Scotland.

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