Temple Jeremiah


Jeremiah Gems- Sarabeth Salzman

One evening two weeks ago, my son Noam, age 5, called me from my husband’s cell phone while at the grocery store. He needed to tell me the following:

Noam: Mommy, I am inside the Earth’s belly!
Me: You are?
Noam: You are too!
Me: Hmmm…interesting. Where did you learn this?
Noam: I didn’t learn it.
Me: How do you know it?
Noam: The Earth is round and we are inside it so we are in its belly.

So, you ask, “Where am I and how did I get here?”  Well, apparently, I am in Earth’s belly. How I got here is a whole other question and while I am proud to say Noam could provide you with the biological response to this question, I am guessing this isn’t the intended direction of the response the temple was hoping for when asking it.

The question “how did I get here” continuously takes me to two thoughts: family and events. Family is, and always has been, my foundation in life. I am very fortunate to not only have parents and siblings, but also positive and healthy relationships with each of them (including extended family). We may not talk every week, and our visits may be limited since none of us live in the same state, but we can pick up the phone at any given time and call each other with a comment, a question, or a request.

Part of this family foundation includes our history, which led me to research my family history. Through the Ancestry website, family records, and an orphanage in central PA that keeps amazing records dating back to the 1920s, I not only learned more about my family tree, but family we did not even know existed.

Two years ago, I located my grandmother’s birth family, something she worked to do during her life.  Since her death, internet access has become what it is today, and certain records became available, making the search easier and the results more accessible. Through this search, we connected with a half-sister we did not know existed (she did not know we did either), and many cousins, too. We then continued this journey with DNA tests and are now connecting with even more cousins. Our family tree, a picture of where we come from, became more robust with even more branches than we ever imagined. (Ok a moment of truth – there might be some circular branches from way back when, but we are choosing to ignore that for right now.) 😊

In the end, this continued family tree building has helped me better see where we have come from and to gain a better sense of how I got to where I am today. And since I still can’t verbalize a concise, simple answer to “where am I”, I think I will steal Noam’s answer and just say “I am in the Earth’s belly.”

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