facebook gave me roots

We hear it all the time, “facebook ruined my marriage, my friendship, got me fired…”.

Well apart from the fact that a computer program cannot do those things, I am here to say that facebook has done something really good, really true, of value, of moment, in my life.

I am a Brat.  yup… proud to say it.  Military, Army to be specific, Brat.  It is what I know.  It is what I do now, I am a BratBride.  I traded one ID card for another.  I had a civilian life once, many years ago, before my parents remarried and I was given a prefix to my sponsors ID#.

To be fair, that first life was when I was young, by the time I was 12 I was a Brat.  But the moving started much earlier.  I love my parents, let me just say that.  I am not trying to be unfair or mean, but the fact is, in general, every time my parents split up or got back together we moved.  So we could argue my training for Army life began early. Add to that, my father is a GOOD solid German Norwegian.  In good Scandinavian style, “we” don’t speak about family, it might be gossip.  But that rule also stopped me from learning about my heritage. I lost an invaluable treasure trove of stories about who I am and who I come from.  I know what I learned from my mom’s side and can only IMAGINE what I would feel if I had been able to connect to my fathers family in the same way.  I didn’t even know what I had lost until I lived in Wisconsin.  There the women of my church and quilting group taught me old family recipes.  They shared thier stories of thier families in that odd womanly way that doesn’t qualify as gossip somehow.

Let me back up though.  I have always felt like I had no roots, no home.  Once told that there is no way anyone doesn’t have a place they truly call home, they said emphasized by asking where I want to be buried.  In all honesty, with a straight face, I answered, ” Dig a hole beside my body and role me in.”  I was and still am serious.  I have no place I call home.  None.  In face, I have few places I can go where anyone would recognize me if I showed up today.  My life is that ephemeral. Thus, I have no roots.
That is, I didn’t.  Until facebook appeared.

Somehow, the roots to my high school- that no longer exists (due to BRAC, Base Realignment and Closure started in the 80’s) were found through this neverland of the world wide web.  There have been reunions, there are groups, there are close friends reconnecting and recalling the fun.  Even the icky stuff too- but all of that is required to have roots.  You know, it takes poop to make good plants grow deep roots too.

 I have found many a dear friend on here.  Some, we find, we read up on each other and we then settle into a non-interactive connection again.  Others, who may not have been my closest confidants, are now quickly becoming the ones to whom I go for support, connection, encouragement and truth.  I know the rules.  I don’t do that with the guys.  I have a loving hubby and I am not willing to risk that.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t add a guy to my friends list.  They are a root too.  Maybe one of those tiny ones, but they count.  They are a part of my past, a part of my now and will be a part of my future, even without facebook.

I have connected with cousins.  I have been shown pictures I did not know existed of me as a young girl.  I have found distant relatives through my grandfathers cousins!  I am finally, creating my own “web” of roots- and facebook is to credit, not to blame.  It has been a blessing in my life.  It has connected me with my college pals in Kansas and Minnesota.  It allows me to participate in Bible study groups.  It has let me learn who my husband is and has given me a key to that treasure trove of stories in my father’s family, so that now I may share this with my children. I finally feel almost confidant enough to reach out to family in Minnesota to ask if I may come visit, to see family history in person, to see faces that look like mine, hair of flax that looks like my children’s.
Yup… for once, facebook has done as good as an inanimate object may.  This Brat has finally found some roots, in spite of my lifestyle.  Thank goodness for this marriage wrecking, job losing, friend turned enemy making site.

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