Cousin Di (aka Diana Spencer)
Yup. I'll take Diana Spencer for the win. I mapped out the connection a few weeks ago. Some peeps chit chat over a Mcsomething. I scrounge familial entrails for digestable leavin's.
So Princess Diana is a cousin. My tenth cousin once removed via my paternal Hughes/Secord line. Yes, its a distant tie but still an interesting rabbit hole. Unfortunately, rather than do a happy dance on my desk I feel a bit sad about it all. There are those odd moments whilst sifting through dry archival data that I am suddenly reminded of the life that churned up the dust through which I shuffle. In Diana Spencer's specific case, it brought memories of High School spilling from my cortex like so much floodwater breaching the levy. For a moment I was 16 again, fixated by the fairy tale fluff of a royal wedding. The next moment I was 32, baby on my lap, mourning with the world at the passing of a princess. So often in the harsh moments we are reminded that we are adult and mortal. It makes me ache a bit.
Perhaps its the hardwiring of my specific feminine gender that causes me to make the jump from lamenting over the sad cessation of a famous distant cousin to the lesser celebrated but equally relevant relatives closer to the trunk of my sprawling tree. Perhaps I am not alone in my occassional starstruck moments because in these moments we garner at least a perfunctory nod from those family and friends who usually relegate our genealogical diversions to the same pile as bright blue eye shadow and bellbottom jeans. (she's cataloguing the deceased now, but it will pass. Eventually she'll run out of bodies) Yet amongst the rulers and ruffians there are real stories of real people who lived and breathed and dreamed in anonymity. I find these souls just as satisfying to "rediscover" as I do a more recognisable name. And if I am afforded a glimpse into his or her life - the ache is just as palpable as I felt that day in 1997 when I watched Princess Di's funeral on TV. We all have a story.....