I’m not special. Life came to me bearing no great fortune of intellect or pedigree. I was drawn to earth by the light of a moonbeam and crashed onto the shore with the full force of nature. Formed and informed by what was put in front of me. Just like everyone else.

I was not any particular brand of poor. Not destitute, not white trash. I was not born in a barn. My husband once asked what kind of name my surname is. My reply? American. That is the extent of what matters to me about my heritage. I know what I know and show what I show. It’s that simple.

People who have great anthologies of the heroes and villains of their ancestry are interesting to me. Connecting to the past through their stories of desperation and determination strengthens us all to give this life everything we’ve got.

I know a man who can weave a story about his family being bootleggers as if they were royalty. He is not one bit embarrassed about them making moonshine, outrunning the law or being skinny and barefoot most of his life. I know a woman who had her children taken away by the state. She worried herself to death not knowing if they were safe or hungry. Before she died, she made sure someone wrote down their given names in case anyone ever took the time to find out what happened to them. I know families who worked in fields owned by someone else to make enough to pay the light bill. They ate peas and cornbread for dinner almost every night and never said a cross word to anyone.

I know boredom and blind luck. I know the fearless and careless. I know the oblivious, who damaged people they brought into this life and the courageous whose sheer will to do better made all the difference. There is much I do not know, more I will never know, and I’m okay with that because I know this life is a gift. It is ephemeral and it is now what it always has been, whatever we choose to make of it.

My husband says, “I love who you are,” and I provoke him with, “What does that mean? I don’t know what that means. You love who I am? Who am I?”

He says with a smile, “You’re American.”

14 thoughts on “Raised By Wolves

  1. Impower You says:

    You are what you are. I love the title. When I was a child one of my mom’s friends insisted I must have been raised by wolves before she had me. So there is my ancestral line for you.

  2. Some of the toughest, smartest, most wonderful people I know in this country are from “humble” beginnings, whatever that means. My family doesn’t have any bootleggers or pirates or anything, although my grandfather almost got deported before he even arrived in the US–he was in a stiletto fight with another passenger on the ship en route from Sicily to New York. I’ve managed to trace back my lineage to early 19th-century Sicily and Ireland, but don’t know as many stories about my family as I’d like. We’re all originals, though, aren’t we. A lot of people around the world aren’t especially fond of us Americans, but I still think we’re an interesting and earnest bunch.

  3. I was adopted at birth. My genealogy was always a question sometimes because my questionable heritage was used against me and other times because I had a rich imagination to carry me off. Now I know, where I come from I am though more a product of my own life than anything or anyone. I am, like you an American I am more though.

  4. artsifrtsy says:

    A few years back I went to a family reunion for the first time and encountered the genealogist in the family for the first time. He gave me his research from family Bibles and I took a stab at expanding on it and looking at other branches online. My brother did not even want to know what I found because he insists that we are mutts – we are Americans. I think he’s right about that and the truth is that although I know when and where we stepped onto the continent, nothing past my own experience and the experiences told to me by my parents and grandparents really have any effect on my life. It’s interesting trivia.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      I like that…mutts. Too funny. You’re right, it’s interesting trivia, but I bet I could make up something just as interesting as anything nut that fell out of my family tree.

      1. artsifrtsy says:

        When my brother’s oldest married we passed our family Bible on to him – it had not been updated at all so I did that. I also added the trees from my mom’s family and my nana’s – I want to add his mom’s too. It was interesting information and now he can be the keeper of it. One thing I did learn that shocked me was that my mom’s father had his surname changed after his father got into trouble with the law – I think it’s odd that my mom lived her whole life and had no idea that her real surname was not Smith – but then again, what difference would it have made?

        1. Honie Briggs says:

          Probably none. When my husband’s grandmother was 72, she received a letter informing her of a sister, still living, she never knew she had. Evidently her mother had gone away for a period of time, after my husband’s grandmother was born, and had another child, but gave it up for adoption. The wife of the adopting couple died unexpectedly and the husband put the child up for adoption AGAIN. Well, of course all this was verified and my husband’s family welcomed this woman, his grandmother’s younger sister, with open arms. The similarities were uncanny, down to the woman’s penmanship. Very interesting…and I didn’t make it up.

          1. artsifrtsy says:

            Wow – how wonderful that they got to reconnect. It makes you wonder about nature vs nurture. I see my nana in my niece in her posture and her sense of humor and adventure, but they never met. Did she pick it up from her dad or me or was it just born in her?

  5. Very good! And I just happened to be watching a news segment this morning on a couple that literally lived among a pack of wolves for two years, so your title caught my eye and seemed especially appropriate.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      LOL. Very good! Have a great weekend Mr. Petruska.

  6. denmother says:

    That was a good read.

  7. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Great post. I have found that who I am is more a product of how I reacted to Life’s challenges, rather than what challenges Life put in front of me.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Thanks Allan. So true, it really is that simple.

Go Ahead, Make My Day!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Choctaw Nation

EDU 497.04


What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

A Year of Living Kindly

adventures in trying to live a life of kindness

church ov solitude

We are all just babes in the woods.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Editor at Longreads. Automattician since 2012. Californian since 1979. Junglist for life.

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple

Growing older is inevitable. Growing up is optional.

Mark My Words


fabricating fiction

Louise Jensen - Writer - www.louisejensen.co.uk

Granola Shotgun

Stories About Urbanism, Adaptation, and Resilience

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Björn Rudbergs writings

Poetry and fiction by a physicist from the dark side


All the Blogging That's Fit To Print

Amanda Mininger

Writer | Author

The Brown Road Chronicles

Stories about country living, old houses, dirt roads, fresh air and other amusing (and possibly even inspirational) anecdotes!

What's So Funny?

Russell Gayer, author speaker

Elan Mudrow



Straight up with a twist– Because life is too short to be subtle!

This, that and the other thing

Looking at life through photography and words


Just another WordPress.com site

Midlife Crisis Crossover!

Viewing the non-geek world through geek lenses. And sometimes vice versa.

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl


Writing for my life


Wrought words and images


Smart and surprising

Geometry & Silence

Photography by Quintin Lake


Stories, poems, photos and bumbles for the soul

QBG_Tilted Tiara

Philosophically Speaking the World in Motion

Georgette Sullins's Blog

My view of the cow parade

Meeka's Mind

the passions of a science fiction writer

rona black photography

occasional visual essays

Michael Lewis Glover | Fine Art Photography

Architectural, HDR, Nature, & Landscape Photography

the eff stop

Adventures of a shutterbug

S.W. Lothian - Author

Amazing YA Thrillers and Irresistible MG Time Travel

The Blue Page Special

Savoring books and food

%d bloggers like this: