I have no idea why this morning I was thinking about my government-issued health exam, but sure enough, I am.
I suppose part of it may be that after something as terrible as the Haitian earthquake, I feel like I have made a mistake during the checkup.
As part of Natalie's background checks, we both also had to submit to a thorough medical exam with family medical history, life-style questionnaires, needles, x-rays and fluid samples (no venereal diseases for me, thank you very much and nearly ideal blood pressure to boot).
As I went into the waiting room to give blood (oh, so many waiting rooms), the lady at the desk asked me if I wanted to join the State Department's DNA program. Sure, why not, maybe I'll get a discount or something.
"Are you sure?" the lady asked me. Hmmmm...So I had to ask why the DNA program was.
"We keep your DNA on record and use it to identify your remains."
Well, maybe that spooked me momentarily because I decided I didn't want to join the program. In hindsight, I wish I would have, but I don't think I was ready to be thinking about a potentially horrific death that could come as a result of traveling abroad.
Maybe it is my youthful disillusions about immortality, but I honestly don't care too much about receiving a proper funeral. But I've come to realize that if something such as a natural disaster were to strike where ever the government sends us, giving the government another tool to locate me would bring loved ones some sense of closure. So I wish I had let the government keep a record of my DNA.
But as I told my parents, Natalie did join the program, so if her remains are found with somebody the government cannot identify, then it is probably me. I don't think they found that very amusing or comforting.
To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters
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