A Heritage That Always Sparks Interest

At the mention of my heritage, interest is piqued no matter where I go. No matter who I talk to, when that one word is mentioned, it’s guaranteed to bring up questions. It’s quite the icebreaker. The style of living is so foreign to most that they can’t help but wonder.
It’s not about WHERE I’m from. If I say I’m from many places – Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands – I don’t get a second glance. But it’s that one word that, when brought to light, shows the curiosity in every soul. I doubt I would receive the same level of interest if I had some extravagant story about my great great great grandpa enduring the long journey from Ireland across unknown waters.
Most view it as a quaint way of life, that they are all sweet and innocent. To some extent that’s true, but those of us who grew up with it know the secrets hidden deep within. There are some who exceed any meaning of sweet and loving. But then there are those who should suffer as much as they have made the children around them suffer.
I won’t go into much detail in this post and I’m not even sure exactly what inspired me to write about this particular subject, but here I am.
My parents were Amish. My mom was the only one out of 10 children to leave the Amish, while only 4 out of 15 children on my dad’s side chose to stay. I barely know the relatives on my mom’s side. If I were to see any of my maternal aunts or uncles walking down the street they would be a stranger to me. I would walk by them without a second look.
It’s nothing like what you see on shows like “Breaking Amish” or “Amish Mafia”. Those stories are probably about 10-15% truth and 85-90% tale. It’s almost hard to explain to people who didn’t grow up with it. I could write an entire book on what it’s like growing up with an Amish background and still not convey the exact experience. You would catch a glimpse of the traditions and values, but I don’t believe you could fully understand it. I don’t even fully understand many of the things my parents went through.
But still, it is an interesting past. I wish I were closer to my grandmas. My grandpas have both been long gone, I never knew one and the other I miss terribly. I wish my Amish relatives were not so harsh, that we could share our lives and that they could accept my family as we are. This will never happen of course, but sometimes it’s nice to dream.
So this is just one more tidbit of me. One more little piece of the puzzle that makes up my life.
I’ve never had much of an audience. With each new follower I’m becoming both more nervous and more bold. I want to believe this blog could turn into something more than just me typing on my keyboard and sending my thoughts into empty space. I want to believe my words mean something, even if only one person is touched.
Maybe it’ll become more…maybe not…I guess we’ll have to ride it out and see.


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