(Another piece I wrote more than 3o years ago in an attempt to explain about the birds and the bees to young children. Perhaps I got into too much detail. You be the judge. )
Did you know you're the only you there will ever be?
There will never be a person just like you. There never was; never will be again.
When we think of of all the billions of people on this earth, not even remembering all the people who have lived since Adam and Eve, that's kind of hard to understand.
Take Timothy Allen Jones --- cute little guy, isn't he? He's only five days old, but he has a long history already. It's his-story. A girl has her-story, but we still call both history.
Let's begin with Timothy's great grandparents. He has eight of them. They are his mom's and dad's grandparents. They have four each. We'll take a look only at Timothy's mother's grandmother and grandfather. They are the parents of Timothy's mother's mother. They are Harry and Maria Johnson.
When Great-Grandma Johnson was a little girl, she wasn't Maria Johnson. She was Maria Kowski. . She grew up in Poland, but her sister Katrina, who lived in the United States, said America was even more beautiful.
"You must come live with me," he said. "Besides, I need your help. With two small cildren and another on the way, I am very busy. Please come stay with Alfred and me. You will love America."
But Maria was already in love then. Joseph was courting her. He was a farmer down the road. Many other men had also courted her, but she was in love with Joseph. They had decided to get married in May. Katrina would have to get along without her.
Then one day a very important letter came in the mail. Maria's ister in the United States was very sick. Maria's mother and father insisted that she go take care of Katrina in Iowa. Soon Maria was saying a tearful good-bye to Joseph.
Months passed while Maria took care of her sister. Slowly Katina gained her strength back. The baby was born, fine and healthy. He was a boy who brought a glimmer to is father's eyes. And it was time for Maria to go back home to marry Joseph.
As Maria eagerly thought of her reunion with Joseph, another fateful letter came in the mail. It was from Joseph. He thought Maria was not coming back. He had married Maria's cousin Nitaya instead. He wished Maria much happiness in the United States.
For months Maria cried herself to sleep. She had loved Joseph so very much.
But Maria was a beautiful woman by now. The young men in America noticed her beauty, and before she knew it, she was seeing many American men. She slowly pushed Joseph out of her mind. She went to dances, box socials, cake walks and fairs with handsome young men in Central City.
One day Alfred, maria's brother-in-law brought home a very interesting Englishman from town. His name was Harry Johnson. Maria couldn't keep her eyes off him, nor could he keep his eyes off her.
Harry had a big head of brown hair and a full curly beard. He was trim and dressed very fashionably. He laughed often and joked with his brothers and sisters in Grand Rapids. But around Lucy, he stammered and shuffled his feet.
Both Maria's sister and brother-in-law said Harry was in love with Maria. Maria thought she could be in love with Harry, too, but she was afraid to say for sure. She was afraid she would be hurt again like she was with Joseph.
George persisted while Lucy resisted. After a year of courting, Maria finally was sure that she loved George. She would marry him. She would become an American citizen like him. They married on March 19, 1932 in a small Central City church.
And that's how Timothy's mother got her mother, Anna. Now if Maria had married Joseph instead of Harry, there would have been no Anna. Maria and Joseph may have had all boys, or if they had girls, even if they named one Anna, it wouldn't have been the same Anna, becuse Anna is also half Harry, too.
She inherited Harry's healthy head of brown hair, and some say his sense of humor. But she also sparkled with Maria's striking beauty.
"Anna was," all her parents friends said, "a good combination of Harry and Maria."
Time passed quickly and Anna grew up, too. Before they knew it,Maria and Harry saw more young men in their lives....this time coming around to court Anna. But this was 1950, and it wasn't called courting now. It was dating. When Maria was young, she always had to have chaperons with her when young men visited.
But Anna was a child of "modern times." World War Two was over. Humans had created the nuclear bomb. Cars were bigger and more colorful. Teenagers --- they had a new name now --- had more time to have fun. Why, Anna played guard on her school's basketball team.
Anna, or Annie, as her friends called her, was very popular. She went through puppy love (That's when teenagers think they have fallen in love.) and crushes (That's usually when only one person loves another, who doesn't know it yet.).
Maria and Harry would laugh at all the phone calls Anna received. But they put strict rules on Anna. She couldn't date until she was sixteen, and then only double dates (with another couple) til she was eighteen. She had to be home by 11 PM on weekends.
When Anna graduated from high school she went to business school for two years. After that she got a good job in Des Moines as secretary in the publishing business there. As a single girl living in a big city, Anna dated many men, men she met at work, at dances and at church. There were Mike, Mark, David and Ken. She went steady with Bill for six months, but she had to give his class ring back when Marshall Moore walked into her life.
The first time Marshall kissed Anna good-night, Anna discovered feelings within her that she had never felt before....tingling feelings. She was falling in love.
And meanwhile Marshall was, too. But Marshall had other things on his mind. A war was in full swing in Korea. He wanted to be a Marine and fight in that war.
Nothing Anna said would change his mind. He had very special feelings for Anna, but he didn't want to get married yet. There was a war to fight. When it was over, they would both know what they wanted. They agreed finally. Each would date others until the war was over.
Years passed. Still no one was able to take the place of Marshall in Anna's eye. And being away from Anna for two years made Marshall come to a decision, as well. On April 4, 1953, Anna Johnson Became Anna Moore forever more.
And as happens in so many love stories, within a year, Anna and Marshall began to share their love with little Kristin, who is timothy's mother.
Now Anna could have married Bill. After all, she was going steady with him. If she had married Bill, there would be no Kristin. Anna and Bill may have had children of their own, but none would have been Kristin. After all, Kristin is half Marshall. That's why Anna loves her so much. Kristin has her dad's nose, big ears and freckles, but she has her mother's --- and Grandma Johnson's --- good looks.
She also has Grandpa Johnson's thick brown hair, Grandpa Moore's blue eyes and Grandma Moore's dimples. There is only one Kristin in the world, just as there is only one Timothy, her son.
Kristin discovered boys in the 1970s. Atoms were being used then for energy --- and still for bigger bombs --- when Kristin began blushing before the boys.
She had her hair cut short and curly. Instead of being interested in business school like her mother, Kristin decided to go to The University of Iowa and take up pre-law.
Kristin was a serious young lady, smart as the dickens!
A challenge to the men, Kristin paid her own way on dates. As a college student she devoted most of her time studying and getting involved in school politics. If any time was left, she would share it with one of her male friends.
Kristin couldn't deny that some of her male friends did "turn her on." Like her mother, she kissed some of her dates and had long conversations with many of them.
She became serious about three men during her years as a student. Larry Burns in her junior year, Ron Concord in her senior year and Ray Jones as a sophomore in Law School.
Ray, it turns out, was to be "the real thing." It could have been Larry or Ron but it was almost as though God meant for Ray and Kristin to become one.
It took Ray a time to break through Kristin's tough wall she had built around herself, but Ray wasn't the type to give up. He taught her to relax, to have fun.
"Ray was the first man who really seemed to care for my happiness even when it meant only unhappiness to him," Kristin explains.
"Sometimes I would tell him to get lost, to quit bothering me, to get out of my life. But I guess he just loved me and was patient. Finally one snowy January night, he melted my heart. he gave me this gorgeous engagement ring.
"I had told him I didn't want any fancy ring --- from him or anyone --- when I married. I know he probably thought I would throw it in his face. But when I saw it in front of that special look on his face, I cried and gave him a big hug."
Tears come to Kristin's eyes as she recalls the night. "It was as though that ring melted the ice from my heart. I felt warm all over. Three months later we were married."
In 1982 little Timothy came along. Now the same story rings true for Timothy.
He could have not been created with any other couple. There was only one combination that made Timothy -- Kristin, Ray, God and all those parents, grandparents, great grandparents and so on back to Adam and Eve. The final product is the one and only Timothy --- the little branch on the very top of the family tree.
Little Timothy has Kristin's stubbornness, Ray's chin, Grandpa Moore's nose, Grandma Moore's and Grandma Johnson's good looks. He has Grandpas Johnson's gorgeous brown hair, Great Grandpa Moore's blue eyes, Great Grandpa Moore's dimples, Grandpa Jones' sturdy build, Grandma Jone's cheekbones, Great Grandpa Jone's long fingers and Great Grandpa Jones' heart-shaped forehead. He's even has features from other great grandparents he hasn't even seen.
But little Timothy's story doesn't end there. That's only part of Timothy's history.
Timothy's parents' bodies are made up of cells --- and in each cell is 46 chromosomes. Each chromosome carries with it different characteristics.
These chromosomes are very tiny. Only a very expensive microscope can spot them. Twenty-three chromosomes live in the mother's eggs within her ovary. Also 23 live in each of the father's sperm, within his testes.
Even before she was born, Kristin, just like all females, had her eggs (ovum) in her body. They were immature at the time of her birth, but as Kristin grew into a beautiful young woman, her eggs grew so that someday some would be able to help begin a new human being.
When Kristin was about twelve years old, her body started releasing one mature egg from the ovary into one of her fallopian tubes each month. The body also started manufacturing hormones. Some of these hormones would cause a bloody network of cells to form around the inside of kristin's uterine wall (where a baby lives nine months before it is born).
Then after the egg was released, and made its journey down the fallopian tubes into the uterus, other hormones are manufactured to flush the egg and the bloody tissue out of Kristin's uterus, since there was no baby being made that month. This would make it look llike she was bleeding once a month. For five days every month Kristin would have to wear special pads while the bloody tissue was flushed out from her body.
Scientists say that each woman has thousand of these eggs in her, and she will release one a month from about the age of twelve til she is between 40 and 50 ears old.
So after Kristin turned 12, she released an egg a month and had what we call "periods" once a month, when women seem to bleed.
Meanwhile Kristin was growing up into a beautiful oung lady, Ray was becoming a handsome man. He wasn't born with sperm. His sperm started to be manufactured in his body at about the age Kristin had her first period. After the age of twelve or so, men's male hormones start producing new sperm. These tiny characters resemble little tadpoles, and swim even better.
Now each of these sperm and each of these eggs carry a different combination of chromosomes. This is what makes Timothy a once-in-a-trillion baby.
We've noticed all the characteristics Timothy's grandparents, great grandparents and parents have. These characteristics are "recorded," so to speak, in Kristin and Ray. It's like taking a thousand marbles --- labeling the red ones different types of noses, the blue ones as different types of eyes, and the green ones as different types of chins.
Then you throw up the marbles and draw out one red marble, one blue marble, one green one, and so on. Think of all the different combinations you could get.
Plus some genes, which make up the chromosomes, are dominant, some are recessive. If Kristin's egg carried with it a gene for blue eyes, while Ray's spearm carried with it a gene for brown eyes, little Timothy would have brown eyes, because brown eyes belong to a dominant gene. it gets its own way.
But Kirstin does have genes for brown eyes and Ray does have genes for blue eyes on some of his sperm. That's what's so great about each baby. Every egg, every sperm, carries with it different combinations of diferent characteristics. no combination will ever be the same. No two eggs, no two sperm are exactly the same when it comes to gene combinations.
That's why Timothy is so special. He's a real individual!
He's who his parents are, who his grandparents are, who his great grandparents are, and so on. Their characteristics make up the bank of characteristics stored up --- or recorded --- in Kristin and Ray, his parents.
But little Timothy is also special because of when he was made.
Kristin and Ray "made love" one night. This is when a couple love each other so much that their bodies are made ready to "become one." The man's penis becomes erect (It points upward.) and the woman's vagina (a canal leading to her uterus) becomes moist and flexible. It is at this time that the man can put his penis inside the woman's vagina.
This happens while Kristin and Ray show each other just how much they love each other. They kiss and hug a lot. They touch each other in very special and tender ways. At a particular time, both of them become very ecited about one another. It is at that time --- the climax --- that Ray releases his semen, in which the sperm live, into Kristin's vagina.
And while Kristin and Ray are still hugging each other and telling each other how they both feel, Ray's sperm are making a long trip through Kristin's vagina, through her cervix, into her uterus and further up into her fallopian tubes.
This is the all -important moment of creation! This night in 1981, after Kristin and Ray made love, a mature egg had just been released from Kristin's ovary before Ray's sperm began their trip up her vagina. The two become one again. One sperm from Ray becomes unites with Kristin's egg. The result: little Timothy!
And little Timothy came out looking and acting the way he did because of THE sperm and egg from Kristin and Ray.
Perhaps if Ray and Kristin had made love just a little bit sooner or later, Timothy would have been Margie instead. But the chromosone that "fertilized" Kristin's egg was a y chromosome within one of Ray's sperm. Kristin's eggs all have a x chromosome, but Ray's semen carries sperm, some of which have x chromosomes riding on them and others what have y chromosomes riding on them. The x's are girl chromosomes; the y's are boy chromosomes. When one of Ray's sperm which carried a y chromosome met with Kristin's egg, with its x, the baby became a boy. If the sperm that had carried a x, it would have combined with Kristin's x to be a xx, a girl.
Or maybe Timothy may have been created a month earlier or later when Kristin released a different egg. he may have then become blue eyed, had short fingers, had blond hair, Grandpa Johnson's good looks and Grandpa Jones' cheekbones instead. Or another of Ray's many sperm may have fertilized Kristin's egg.
Timothy was a one-in-a-lifetime baby. When his mother and dad have another baby someday, it might look a little like Timothy, but it will still look very differently and act very differently from him, too. He will be a creation of another time --- made from a different egg and a different sperm. He might even be a she.
There will never be another Timothy and there will never be another you!
God just has too many combinations that he's put together to ever make duplications. In identical twins, he comes close, but even twins end up becoming two different individuals, too.
Twins come from the same egg and the same sperm. (The newly fertilized egg separates in half, and instead of becoming one baby, it becomes two babies.) What makes them different? The world. they have diferent experiences. They have different feelings. One may end up talking for the two of them One may decide to let the other do the talking. In the end, even twins end up being different. Just as they will have different fingerprints, they will each have his or her own personality. They too will become individuals --- and that's how God likes us!
God wants us to be individuals, and to feel special about that. But God wants us to use our special individualism to unite, to work with our indivudual gifts and talents to make this a better world for all of us.
He wants us to become one BIG family, which, when you come to think about it, we all really are anyway.
Just ask Timothy Allen Jones someday!