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How Important is Genetics?

14 Oct

Do you take after anyone in your ancestry?

I’ve been thinking about this lately, and I’ve concluded that, in temperament and interests, I most resemble my father’s Dad.

Unlike my mother’s Dad who lived with our family when I was a child, I had very little face to face contact with Grandpa. He lived far away, and we rarely met, although my father kept in close contact via the letter-box.

Like me, Grandpa loved to write. Mostly, he typed. His handwriting was rather hard to read, but not as difficult as my own father’s, whose replies must have taken immense concentration to decipher. Even into his nineties, Grandpa maintained his keen wit and powers of observation: he had views on everything from politics and the state of the world, right through to sport. He loved mind-teasers: games like chess and draughts.

Our family stayed with him for a week or so when I was about sixteen. I vividly recall his astonishment when I actually beat him at a game of draughts! Clearly, he did not resent this experience, however, for he went on to teach me the basics of Chess. Did he, in fact, relish a challenge?

Looking back, I profoundly regret that the tyranny of distance stopped me from sharing more of his life.

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