This is not a story. Neither literature. At most a search for meaning. Family stories are treacherous stories. Because they consist of falsehoods, pretensions, assumptions, incomprehension or of hearing. Rarely tested by a historian, a scientist or a journalist. That is not the intention either. The genealogy may rejoice over ever-expanding interest, but the sober facts can only satisfy or fascinate us to some extent. Despite all details, family tree research is a dragon in itself. Who wants to be tamed like any other dragon.

What does this have to say to me? Why do I want to know this?

Thinking about the past has a limited reach. More meaningful are the sense of life and the awareness of wisdom that can flow from it. Awareness of the intangible legacy of which we are the heirs is a matter of experiencing what you are in the blood and by embracing it. Ultimately, it is a form of radical self-acceptance. You are who you are, partly because of your ancestry, but also in spite of ancestors.

As an adult you can not avoid taking your life into your own hands. To be a guide for yourself. You are no longer a child. Even if you are a toddler, it is better if you do not get too much taken by the hand. Discovering yourself helps you to put your trust in your inner strength.

In this story no graphs, photographs or graphic representations of pedigrees. Also the names, birth dates and places of the people you encounter in these stories do not matter. Not at this place.

This story has been completed. In eleven texts. In it you will find the most important checkpoints that I encountered on my journey through the history of my family. A narrative that does not stand alone. Because everyone who reads this does recognize something of himself. If not on the surface, then in the underflow. Or in the challenge to lead a meaningful life, more than facts that we can derive from.

My journey is over. Nice if you have read along. If you do not know that I or this story exists then we are friends as well. Even if we do not know that. You never know. What I do know is this: listen to the silence until you hear the echo.

OK. It’s your turn. I’m free.

Original text in Dutch.


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