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Friday May 26, 2017
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This Old House

 

continued

We make our way through another half-dozen stops, and it is dusk by the time we arrive at the Morwick house. It looks the same: tall and nondescript with tan fake stone on the bottom half and gray aluminum siding on the top half. Like most student rentals, the tiny lawn is sparse and worn. My eyes remain fixed on the second level, where I lived. If these walls could talk, what would they reveal? Did one or more of my ancestors pass through here?

And now, for the first time, I can accurately characterize my feelings about this. They are pride and--though I am completely taken aback to realize it--profound satisfaction. The slaves James Morwick helped were running for their freedom--and their lives. They were connected to this house due to circumstances beyond their control. But nearly 150 years later, I had found my way to the same house by choice. I was not only a free woman--I was pursuing an education, I could vote, I was living life on my terms. If these men and women could have seen me, what would they have said?

I think they would have been proud of me.

I can only liken my experience to meeting a long-lost family member for the first time: it doesn't explain everything about you, but it is a corner piece of the puzzle that lets you see the bigger picture.

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