Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My People

Reba, Bonnie
One of my favorite memories is of my very young niece, Bonnie, and the identification card for her new wallet, which she proudly filled out...

Name: Bonnie Glymph
Address: Greer, S.C.
Blood Type: Chair O Key

Bonnie's Ma'ma Reba, my mother-in-law, taught the importance of family blood type through stories of her grandmother's people, and she was proud to be a Cherokee.

Geneva, center
As a child, I was proud of my Cherokee blood type, too, and enjoyed people asking if I had "Indian Blood." Trips to Asheville allowed me to see my dad's cousins with dark skin, hair, eyes, and high cheek bones.   Without the aid of a computer, my aunt Gladys traced our Cherokee blood line. Since Native Americans seldom kept written records, she interviewed relatives and was told by a great aunt that her great great grandmother, Lucy Kate, lived near a Cherokee reservation and "was never married, she just took up with some Indian, but you shouldn't go around telling things like that about the family."  This "took up" resulted in a half Cherokee daughter, Kate Black.  Kate's granddaughter, Geneva White, married a Brown and had a son, Troy, who married a Scottish girl, Sue Grant.

Troy, Jim, Sue
My uncle Jim Brown's description of his parents, my grandparents: 

My mother was a fiery, red headed 5' 2'' whirlwind from the Scott Highland Clan Grant. My father was a 6' 4'' tall, dark and handsome man with 1/4 Cherokee Native American blood flowing in his veins. She was from Bat Cave, NC. He was from a small rural township just North of Asheville, N.C. Woodfin, on the French Broad River.  They made a striking pair. Her with fair skin, blue eyes, and fire red hair. He with thick locks of black hair, deep brown eyes and a dark (not red) complexion that is so prevalent among the Cherokee.  Add to that the 1 foot difference in height and 130 pound difference in weight, they couldn't help but draw attention to themselves. As to temperament, that shock of flaming red hair was a warning to not dismiss her diminutive size while father's towering stature disguised a deep, slow to anger, soul behind dark pools of steadiness that were his eyes. I will say this for posterity sake. My father never raised a hand towards my mother or towards me, but I cannot say the same as to my mother as she was a terror when angered. I learned early from him to give her wide berth when you crossed "her" line and she had counted to 3.
Troy and Sue

I can recall many an occasion as a child, when we would travel to Gatlinburg, TN to camp at Elkmont National Park and the obligatory stop in Cherokee to let Daddy walk around among "his people" as he would call them. And invariably, one of the locals would ask him if he was "of the Cherokee Nation" which would make him puff up with pride and declare in his low resonant voice with a simple "Yes."

Our looks are passed down from generation to generation by blood. Physically, my dad and I looked like our Cherokee people, while my sister inherited red hair from Sue Grant Brown and my mom's Scotch/Irish people. However, our personalities were more complicated. The two red-heads in the house were much slower to anger than the two Cherokees.

My dad, Ed & my
grandfather, Troy
By blood AND example, we inherit from our people both positive (peace seeking, good natured) and negative (worrisome, combative) traits and pass those down by blood AND example.  Hopefully, we have positive traits (kindness, faith, generosity) given to us by our earthly fathers and pass those down, hoping to give our people much more than eye and hair color. 

Despite our blood line and traits from our earthly fathers, we have the same Abba Father,

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15

and as we grow, our eyes open to traits, good and bad, passed down by blood or learned from our people, and we see our Father and strive to be more like him.

If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” John 14:7

Troy and Sue
Whether our blood type is A, B, O or Cherokee, Irish, or Scottish, our Abba Father walked this earth  showing us how to live and gives us His traits (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) to pass to our people.

Happy Father's Day,








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