If I had been born male, my name would have been “Christopher Tysor.”
But I wasn’t…and it isn’t.
I was born female, and my name is Leigh — the only child of my parents, Ray and Nancy.
My grandfather, Wade Benton, and his brother, Ray Jordan, were the only two males in my great-grandfather Charlie’s gang of eight children. “Uncle Ray” (we all called him that) never had any children of his own, and Granddaddy had one son and three daughters. I’m no scientist, but it seems that female genes run strong on this side of the family.
See this? That’s our family line.
T641431… that’s me.
I’m the “end of the line.”
Maybe it’s not a big deal, but I started thinking about it while doing some genealogy research the other day. There are so many families I see on the ancestry websites who are continuing their stories and traditions with the births of children and grandchildren. At my age, I’m old enough to have children in college but don’t have any. Truthfully, I never really wanted to have my own children – that’s another story for another time. But the more family trees I viewed and the more stories/traditions I read, the guiltier I felt about it.
Wait a minute. I can’t help that traditions are such that the males are the ones whose names carry the line. And I certainly can’t help being born “Girl Tysor.”
Who will continue our family story?
Thankfully, my father and two of his sisters remain, and they have been sharing as many photos and memories as they can gather. Stories of Monte Zuma Tysor, who I jokingly maintained met an untimely end due to a bowel issue (he was actually trampled by a mule on his farm). Memories of all the dirty jokes that were shared around the dinner tables during holidays (we still can’t top the ones my Momma and Aunt Gegie used to tell). Hopefully, my cousins’ children and their children will appreciate them enough to keep it going.
My legacy to the family will be to pass these down the remainder of us — and there are LOTS of us. We just don’t have Tysor as our last name. We are Everharts, Lucases, McElhannons, Kisers, and Olsens.
What’s in a name? I guess it all depends on your perspective… or your place “in the line,” so to speak.