Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Passion Attack

by Hannah Reed/Deb Baker

You read that right. I didn't mean panic attack. Passion attack. I haven’t had a sudden onset passion attack for a long time.

This one was triggered by a gift box filled with old family records. Symptoms continued unabated for twelve hours straight. Nothing could relieve that intense period of total intensity while I searched online for more information to add to my box.

It started out innocently enough – a quick peak through the papers and photographs that had been carefully documented by my mother, who is interested in our genealogy. Then a casual online Google of a family name, my maiden name – McGarity.

Where I found a whole society of McGaritys sharing research. And located our family crest. Documented records went back to the 1700s, meaning we were here in Colonial America, served in the Revolutionary War, blazed a trail with the thirteen colonies. Wow! That took my breath away.

I had to find out where and when we entered the country – spent hours scanning ship’s passenger lists, deciding my ancestors probably came in through Philadelphia and followed the Wagon Road into South Carolina.

Time stood still. The world ceased to exist. Did we come from Ireland? Or Scotland? I had to know. Just one more search. Just one more…. I refused to believe I’d reached a dead end. I was like a gambler. Just one more toss of the dice and I’d win!

I couldn't eat or take a break, my heart raced, blood pressure soared, I'm pretty sure I lost consciousness...

The box is now set way back, high on a shelf inside a closet. I don’t think I should open it again.

If I do, I might never return.