Saturday, July 27, 2013

MY FAMILY STORY

After spending day and night for what seemed an eternity (Sunday - Thursday) working on organizing the family history, I finally have it compiled into one format.  For years I've collected snip its of information, wedding announcements, questionnaires and photos.  Now they are combined to tell our story.  Though the geneology has been done by others, which traces our family name back to the 1500's in Europe, its the stories and memories that I've focused on.  I've put all of this into a form so that it can be added to or edited, perhaps in the years to come.  But while I was working on it, I came to the realization that if nothing was ever added, we'd have our history recorded in one place.


Some people spend time searching for the past information; some don't ever look back.  Some want to know who they resemble, or find an explanation why some event was never explained; some don't care to know.  I look for the past because I want to know who has come before me, who has worked hard, and how I fit into the whole picture.


It is a great relief to be done typing day in and day out, but somehow now that I'm done I am wondering what's next.  I felt like a "time traveler" - coming across the sea on the Oceanic, or as a little girl traveling from California to Upper Michigan by stagecoach.



My heart opened to new feelings and yearnings like how I would have felt to marry in secret, or what my own father felt like as a boy writing a letter about how his young niece could walk. What started out to be a mechanical, 'get it done' job, ended up a journey into the hearts of my family in their youth.  I could see it unfolding before my eyes, though I was never there.  Typing in the facts has brought me to visit places I never cared to go before, and look at life from a new perspective. 

Somehow now, when I look at the sea chest in my living room that came across the Atlantic Ocean with my grandfather, it has a whole new meaning.


I've got a scrapbook to finish for my nearly one year old grandson.  I guess that's what I'll do next. Someday if his own children look back to find out who has come before them, they'll know.  sb
 

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