Long ago and far away a young man from the land of tulips and windmills made his way to New York. I try to picture the journey and what may have been crossing his mind as he neared this distant shore. Fear, excitement, trepidation?
Did he leave the ship even knowing that he would stay in America? There are no clues now where he went first, or if there was someone here that he already knew. What was he searching for?
I romantically think about my grandfather who I never knew, except through the stories of my mother. Not even a picture exists that I'm aware of. Since our DNA holds the secret to our past....why can't just a little of that DNA show us what came before? So I dream. I make up stories. When I was younger, he was a pirate, the captain of the ship, a stowaway, or just a normal nondescript man. Are there clues to the shape of my eyes, my nose...the freckles across my face that mirror his? Or, my just plain stubbornness?
Waterrose is the name that he brought to this country. However, when I happen across someone who is Dutch and talk to them about this name it rings no bells. They say, "well perhaps it was spelled differently....vateruse..." I have gotten closer to the past held by my grandmothers family, his wife. But can't get past the edge of our eastern shore to find out more about this man who began the first generation of Waterrose's in America.
Waterrose is a beautiful name and one that I choose to honor in the absence of knowing this person whom I never had the chance to call grandfather....