Usually, of an evening, after my dishes are done, after the dogs have had their nightly snoogles and pets and the cat has had my undivided attention for a time, I will settle down to a few hours of relaxation. I don't care to just sit, for that makes me a bit crazy, so I will sew or crochet or read others blogs or maybe a good book. But lately I have felt the need to get back to working on my family history. I have shamefully neglected it for quite some time and in an ill-conceived idea of combining two of my genealogy programs into one, I pretty much screwed up both of them yesterday, making it necessary to start again with the entering of information.
Thankfully, I have an external hard drive that contains most of what I messed up, along with the files and photos stored in my computer, so the job isn't all that daunting.....just time consuming. After I had grumbled a while about my lack of foresight as to what would happen when combining programs, and about the time it takes to enter everything the right way, I got to thinking that some of my ancestors have waited several centuries to be acknowledged. I guess with that in mind, a few days of work on my part isn't all that important.
I also found the following on my external hard drive. I saved it a few years ago and had forgotten about it. I thought I might share it, for it expresses how I feel about my family history.
We Are The Chosen
In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.
Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before.
We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us, "Tell our story." So, we do.
In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors, "You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us." How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say.
It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why I do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying I can't let this happen.
The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish, how they contributed to what we are today.
It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family. It goes to deep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us.
It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us birth, without them we could not exist, and so we love each one, as far back as we can reach. That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do.
With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are they and they are the sum of who we are. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family.
It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my place in the long line of family storytellers.
That is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and restore the memory or greet those whom we had never known before.
As each of my years fly on by, and indeed they do seem to fly these days, it becomes more important than ever to me to complete as much of this family research as I can. I worry sometimes that none of my descendants will care enough to continue this journey after I am gone. I hope and pray that at least one will be "The Chosen."