World History

Stephenie’s Father’s Coat-of-arms – part 4 of 5

The white hawk on my father’s coat-of-arms was added as another honor to his mother and her father, Duke Urlas Vercima of Esland. My father said he saw a painting of him when they had traveled to Esland for Kara’s wedding (my sister). Urlas was a round man my father said, someone who had spent many hours enjoying feasts in his later years. Even the artist had trouble keeping him in his clothes and the frame of the four-foot-wide painting.

However, when my father was there, he said so many people approached him and wanted to shake his hand because he was the son of Kara Vercima and the grandson of Duke Urlas. At first, my father thought it might be a cruel jest. However, after he talked to more and more people, he realized the Duke was a national hero for brokering the peace treaty and there was even a bronze statue of him standing ten feet tall overlooking the harbor.

My father told me he felt ashamed and stupid for even silently thinking his mother’s father would have been a useless sort of man and told me never to judge people too hastily.

For me, I took a different lesson from the story. I know it may be cynical, but I have always been the subject of other people’s quick judgments and I recognized there is power in that. I don’t like to exploit anyone, but other people’s incorrect assumptions about me have saved my life more than once. Besides, I live a life of lies to hide what I am; I rely on people seeing what they want, not what is real.

Have you ever surprised someone by being something they never expected?

– Stephenie