23 and…

I just packaged up my 23andMe saliva collection sample!

It was SO GROSS.


Unfortunately, I have a true aversion to human saliva. Sorry, but – I cannot spit (I can’t even let other people drink out of my glass – not even Trent). I literally thought I would DIE before I could muster enough spit to fill the (tiny) test tube.

BUT I GOT THROUGH IT. F#@%ing phew.

And now I get to find out “what I am”. 🙂

Trent bought me the Ancestry Service for my birthday. He was smart enough to leave out the Health Service; after all, my 39th birthday WAS all about me outliving my father. This girl definitely doesn’t need to find out she’s carrying some crazy genetic mutation for some freaky disease-thing (I mean, other than the one she already knows she has).

Besides, Trent knows genealogy is “my thing”. Our house is an antique shop of our collective pasts, home to quite literally thousands of photos of our families going back to the 19th century (a little slanted toward my family, of course). Artifacts from my mother’s ancestral home in Sicily and my Polish grandfather’s wartime-escape from occupied France and his life in England, relics from Trent’s family’s Texan and California Gold Rush lives…

I NEED TO KNOW what more to my story there might be.

And there could be a LOT more to my story! I’m half Sicilian, and I can already trace my blood back centuries on the island. But Sicily is one of humankind’s great crossroads; who knows? I could have African DNA. I could have Persian DNA. I could be Portuguese. Greek. Arabic. Even Viking. One of my great-great grandfathers was reportedly known on the island as “The Turk” because he was so dark…

Maybe I actually AM A TURK!

Portrait of Grandpa Sam’s father, Andrea Spada, by “D. Moretti”, illuminated in my living room at sunset. My great-grandfather was a Sicilian immigrant and legendary bootlegger in Detroit. He died (somewhat unexpectedly) when he was 29. The mafia seized his “enterprise” and my grandfather grew up in abject poverty as a result, largely dependent on the Sicilian community around him – which led him to my grandmother, Lucia.

Ship’s manifest listing the arrival of my great-grandfather, great-grandmother (Margherita; my mom’s namesake), Grandpa Sam, and his brother (Pete).

I may or may not use this delicious genetic info for my application to become an Italian citizen, which, by the way, I coincidentally just learned I qualify for through both my grandfather and grandmother, thanks to the Italian law of “jure sanguinis“.

But it doesn’t matter! Because ain’t NOTHING gonna stop me from getting that Italian passport, anyway. Just like nothing’s gonna stop me from finding out if I’m NEANDERTHAL.


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One thought on “23 and…

  1. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    What an incredible concept! And I am betting it will be a wildly fascinating journey to the truth of who you/we really are! I can’t wait to find out the results! I will be digging through the old papers I found in the back of grandma’s filing cabinet after she died to add to your research. I feel like I have discovered buried treasure. And, indeed, I have. It holds the secrets to who we are. Thanks for doing the research and submitting to the spit test for us.

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