What To Do When The Party's Over
This past Saturday we held our family reunion. It was wonderful! Well, at least Saturday was wonderful.
It was hosted at my sister's house for the first time. And everyone had a great time. We don't do much. Have a fantastic meal. Dessert. And visit. At some point one of us draws numbers and passes out a few door prizes. Everyone signs an attendee book. We take a few photographs. And then we all promise to see one another again in two years.
Sadly, because of a couple of people who were not only rude, vulgar and ugly, any further reunions have been cancelled. I said all the right things: "Well, of course I understand!" and "Of course, we shouldn't allow someone to behave like that!" and "Yes, our seniors don't need to be exposed to those kinds of behavior!"
But, once I got home, I cried like a baby! I really did. This heart-hardened old nurse simply was broken-hearted. And I suppose I always will be.
As a genealogist, I think we all look forward to family reunions and the time we get to spend together.
Time when we will be able to not only reconnect with those who we have always seen there, but time to connect with new family members and those lost long connections we've never met! (Such as I got to with these "new", old, cousins this Saturday! Descended from my gr-gr-grandfather, they fall from a line of his children that was a brother to my gr-grandfather. And had no idea what our family history was! I had a blast telling them what I could in such a short time! Showing them what I could. Hoping to fill in the gaps that they never knew how to fill! It was absolutely wonderful for me!
And so, my heart is broken over not being able to show them the many things there wasn't time for! And now, never knowing if I ever can!
So, after praying and soul searching, I have decided to do what I can to keep this family legacy alive. In the only way I know how.
Renewed vigor in my research. Writing more of our history. Especially on the initial 12 children of those shared distant grandparents we come from. And in keeping the family newsletter alive and going. (I write it monthly, and it goes out to over 200 individuals!)
And meeting, when I can, with those who would like to meet with me. Keeping family, and traditions alive as best I can.
I'm not yet a senior citizen, and so I hope I have a few more years that I can continue doing this, that I love so. Sharing the history and legacy of our family.
The motto of each of us that does this for the sheer love of it, is, and should always be, "Never Give Up". For without us, the history may be lost forever! Without us, who will tell the stories and legacies that have been shared with us? Who will fan the spark,and keep the flame alive for those who follow behind us!
Let us work with renewed spirit on writing those family histories down.
Let us keep families together in whatever way we can: whether that be with family reunions, newsletters, or sharing the research we have done.
Plan on whom you will relegate to receive your family research when you are one day gone. Will it be to a younger family member who has shown intense interest in your research? Your local historical society? Or your local genealogical society?
So, should the party come to an end, as it seems it has for my family, then please, keep those memories alive! And "Never Give Up!"
I know, I never will.
As always, your comments are always welcome.